About this project

I am assembling this database in order to investigate the story of the early Swedes in Jamestown, New York. My basic questions include:

  • Why are the histories so silent about these first immigrants? Were they ignored or forgotten?
  • How successful were these early Swedish immigrants? 
  • How difficult were their experiences (i.e., mortality rates, poverty, insanity)?
  • How cohesive was the community within the village of Jamestown?  In the region?  How connected were they?
  • Were there divisions among them based on religion (i.e, Methodists, Lutherans, anti-church)? 
  • Was there division based on their region of origin (i.e., Smålanders vs. others)? 
  • How different were their experiences from the Swedes who arrived after the Civil War? 
  • How essential were these first Swedish immigrants to the later success of Swedes in Jamestown? 

I am using genealogical information as a tool for reconstructing that small community.  The snapshots taken in the 1850, 1855 and 1860 censuses don't provide much information about their lives.  I am hoping that learning more about the families will tell me more about their experiences as immigrants.  I hope that by documenting the deaths of parents and children, the remarriages, the re-migrations, the family alliances and their connections to non-Swedes that I will learn more about their immigrant experiences.

The objective of this web site is to provide a fully documented list of all Swedish immigrants to Chautauqua and Warren counties from 1844-1855. Full documentation includes:

  • Swedish church records of birth 
  • Swedish records of emigration
  • Identification on a ship manifest
  • Census, legal and church records of their residence in the area 
  • Death and burial records.

Currently, I am cross-referencing the various lists and reviewing them with published biographies or family histories and family trees.  I plan to take this database online once it approaches a more complete state.  In the mean time, I will be "publishing" on the site various lists and reports as documentation of the project.


  1. do you have letters to charlotta johnson peterson? My ggrandfather came with her and settled with brother fred j, in sugar grove. One brother settled in paxton, ill, and another in red wing mn, and my ggrandfather in carver co mn. my other ggrandfather came through and settled first in galesburg and then up to carver co....aikens, obergs, browns, carlsons, johnson dahleens swansons watertown immigration.

    1. I have not come across early letters from the early settlers. Likewise, I have found few Americabrev. If any family might have some of these please get in touch.

  2. Jeff Grelson, Marcia Grelson, Eric Grelson, Grandchildren of Margaret and Eric Herbert Grelson of Jamestown.

  3. Looking for any information about Julianna West Petersen, married in the late 1890's after voyage from Copenhagen, Denmark. Lived rest of their lives in Chautauqua County and buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Jamestown , New York, she in 1922 and he in 1938. She may be have been related to the Marker family.

    1. Could you be looking for Juliane Westh, born 2 Oct 1871 in Ronne, Bornholm, Denmark? Her father was Janus Peter Westh (1844-1906) and her mother Caroline Christine Marker (1845-sometime after 1883). Caroline was the daughter of Hans Marker (1803-1855) and Karen Kristine Bertelsen (1815- sometime after 1860). Caroline's sibs included Jens Hansen Marker (1840-1923) who fathered a bunch of children with his wife Elsebeth Kristine Mogensen (1838-1923). Of those dozen or so children, Adolf, Ludvig,and Waldemar emigrated and settled in Jamestown.Rudolf also emigrated, ending up in Illinois. After raising his son and daughters in Jamestown, Waldemar also moved West, in his case to Pasedena, California.