Categories: New Sweden Forefathers.
|Jonas Nilsson migrated from Sweden to New Sweden in 1643 aboard the Svanen.|
Birth and Name
Jöns Nilsson was born in Skåning, Hundred, Skaraborg, Sweden about 1620. The many variations of his name are due not only to the relaxed spelling of the times but also the mix of nationalities occupying New Sweden. The meticulous account books of the New Sweden Company were 'not written in Swedish but rather in Dutch, the language of the New Sweden commissary Hendrick Huygen."  "The person's first name in Swedish was Jöns, which later evolved into Jonas. Huygen generally wrote that name as “Joen.” Further, Jöns’ patronymic was Nilsson (son of Nils), which Huygen spelled as “Nielson." So, he was born as Jöns, referred to as Joen by the Dutch, and in later life known as Jonas, while the last name was variously Nilsson, Nielson, and Nelson.
Immigration to New Sweden
Jöns Nilsson arrived at Fort Christina, New Sweden on 15 February 1643.
- "1643 - The Fama and Swan arrive from Sweden, bringing Johan Printz, first royal governor of New Sweden, six feet tall and weighing 400 pounds, with 50 new settlers, including Captain Sven Skute, soldiers Jonas Nilsson, Jürgen Keen, Johan Gustafsson, Anders And-ersson Homman, Peter Jochimsson and the family of Anders Andersson the Finn. Printz builds Fort Elfsborg on east side of Delaware and Fort New Gothenburg on Tinicum Island, where he also builds his own manor house, called Printzhof."
Jonas came to New Sweden as a soldier with Governor Printz and was described in the accounts of the colony as a tailor as well as a soldier. After marrying and becoming a freeman in 1654, he established his farm at Kingsessing with his wife Gertrude. When the first governor, Printz, was replace by Governor RIsing in 1654, Jonas was owed a significant amount in back wages. "New Sweden was essentially a barter economy where the currency consisted of beaver skins, half-beaver skins and sewant. To collect real money for one’s services, it was necessary to go to Sweden, which is exactly what Jonas Nilsson did."  In July 1654, he left his pregnant wife in New Sweden and sailed to Sweden on the ship Ornen (the Eagle) to collect the wages owed him by the New Sweden Company for service as a soldier and tailor, which amounted to 505 guilders and 18 styvers (net of his purchases at the company store).  He returned on the Mercurius in 1656.
Jonas Nilsson is mentioned several times in the records of the church at WIcaco, known now as Gloria Dei ("Old Swedes") in South Philadelphia. He signed the loyalty oath in 1654, pledged support to the church in 1684, and appears in the 1693 Census. 
Husband of Gertrude Svensdotter — married 1648 in New Sweden (alt marriage date is 1654) Father of:
- Gunilla Jonasdotter, married Måns Petersson Cock
- Nils Jonasson (Jones)
- Måns Jonasson (Jones)
- Anders Jonasson (Jones)
- John Jonasson (jones)
- Judith Jonasdotter, married Peter Petersson Yocum
- Christina Jonasdotter, married Frederick Fredericksson King
Each of his sons took the patronymic of Jonasson which evolved into the surname Jones.
Death and Legacy
He signed his will on 14 Jan, 1692 and died in October 1693 in New Sweden. He was buried in the Gloria Dei Old Swedes' Church in Wicaco (now Philadelphia).
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Craig, Peter S. "Jonas Nilsson in the news 350 years after his death" in Swedish Colonial News, vol 3 no. 8, Spring 2008
- ↑ Dr. Peter Stebbins Craig. "Chronology of Colonial Swedes on the Delaware 1638-1713." orig. pub Swedish Colonial News, Volume 2, Number 5 (Fall 2001). Retrieved from http://colonialswedes.net/History/Chronology.html
- ↑ Craig, Peter Stebbins and Kim-Eric Williams, Colonial records of the Swedish churches in Pennsylvania. Volume 1: The log churches at Tinicum Island and Wicaco, 1646-1697, pp. 17, 64, 167, 174, 192-93.
- ↑ Craig, Peter S. The 1693 Census of the Swedes on the Delaware. (Winter Park, Fla: SAG Publications, 1993) Family numbers: 22 (Jonas), 8, 23-26, 35, 55
- U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900, Yates Publishing
- http://mv.ancestry.com/viewer/5158985b-5320-474e-9449-0a665f6e237e/31346176/12490955963 (Lists children)
- http://mv.ancestry.com/viewer/373ffd9b-5be7-4dea-a4e4-fcc759d3f16a/11916139/-371121633 (Excerpt from Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County)
Note: Nilsson listed here as correct LNAB.
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No known carriers of Jonas's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.
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On June 27, 2016 at 17:37GMT Jim Angelo wrote:
On November 30, 2015 at 02:33GMT H Husted wrote:
On November 4, 2015 at 13:39GMT Michelle McQueen wrote:
Jonas is 17 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 32 degrees from Anne Frank, 21 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 25 degrees from Neil deGrasse Tyson and 18 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II of the Commonwealth Realms on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.