Categories for New Sweden Ships

+5 votes

There are 16 ships with passengers that were bound for the colony of New Sweden.

These ships have been known in various sources and sites under up to three names: Dutch, Swedish, and English. 

How should we decide which translation of the name to use for the ship's category?  Should they all be Swedish or assessed on a case by case basis?

New Sweden's Sixteen Ships

1. Kalmar Nyckel, sailed 1637 see: Category: Calmer Sleutel (Key of Kalmar), sailed Dec 1637.  Ship name in category is Dutch; half the passengers were Dutch and the ship stopped in New Amsterdam).
2. Fågel/Vogel Grip (Bird Griffin), sailed December 29, 1637 (''Should name be Fogel Grip / Fågel Grip / Vogel Grip?'')
3. Kalmar Nyckel, sailed September 1639 (suggest we use the Swedish spelling?  apparently no one bound for New Netherland was on board.) (
 4. Freedenburg, sailed July/August 1640 (aka Fredenburg) (, could be NNS Ship too)
5. Kalmar Nyckel, sailed July 1641 (
6. Category: Charitas, sailed May 03 1641--currently an NNS ship, were there New Netherlanders aboard?
7. Fama, sailed 1642 (what date to use; she sailed from Stockholm August 16, 1642, then from Gothenburg November 1, 1642?) (
8. Svanen (Swan), sailed 1642 (what date to use; she sailed from Stockholm August 16, 1642 and from Gothenburg November 1, 1642) (
9. Fama, sailed December 29, 1643 (
10. Gyllene Hajen (Golden Shark), sailed May 1646 (
11. Svanen (Swan), sailed September 25, 1647 (
12. Kattan (Cat) aka Katt/Katten, sailed July 3, 1649 (wrecked off Puerto Rico, never made it to New Sweden--still a New Sweden ship?) (
13. Gyllene Hajen, sailed 1653 but was badly damaged and never left Sweden; its colonists transferred to the Örn--do we need/want a category? (
14. Örnen/Örn (The Eagle), sailed February 2, 1654 (rootsweb) and (
15. Gyllene Hajen, sailed April 15, 1654, landed in New Amsterdam by mistake where most of its passengers remained (therefore also NNS Ship) (
16. Mercurius, sailed November 25, 1655, arriving after New Sweden has fallen to Dutch (

Parent category?

I suggest we create a parent category called either New Sweden Ships or New Sweden Settler Ships. I think if the ship carried settlers for the New Netherland colony, it would go under their ships category, New Netherland Settler Ships. If all the settlers were bound for New Sweden, we'd use the New Sweden Ships category (name TBD) alone.
So for example the Kalmar Nyckel in its 1637 voyage had settlers for both colonies, so should be in both parent categories.  The ''Charitas'' contained no settlers for New Netherland, so would be in the New Sweden Ships category (current it's in parent category NNS Ships). 

Other relevant categories

:Category: Middle_Colony_Ships
:Category: 1630s_Ships or
:Category: 1640s_Ships or


A couple so-far reliable source for information are's New Sweden Immigrant Ships project and the New Sweden ships on Rootsweb.  The SCS chronology also lists the ships. I'd love other sources.

WikiTree profile: Space:New_Sweden
in Policy and Style by H Husted G2G6 Mach 6 (66.5k points)
edited by H Husted

About  Kalmar nyckel see

"Captain Jan  Hindricksen van der Water of the Kalmar Nyckel and  Captain Adrian Jöransen of the Fogel Grip were ready with  their ships and with their crews of about forty to fifty Dutch  sailors combined"

2 Answers

+2 votes
I happened onto this Swedish page (in English) that combines a lot of interesting background information in one place.  Unfortunately his few references are in Swedish and nothing is really verified.  BUT, a nice list of ships and names in Swedish and English and some possibly verifiable history.  especially the section "The Expeditions"
by Jim Angelo G2G6 Mach 5 (51.3k points)
+2 votes

I'll leave it to others to comment on the language(s) for the categories.

> Fama, sailed 1642 (what date to use; she sailed from Stockholm August 16, 1642, then from Gothenburg November 1, 1642?)

> Svanen (Swan), sailed 1642 (what date to use; she sailed from Stockholm August 16, 1642 and from Gothenburg November 1, 1642)

I'd use the Stockholm departure dates. I'm assuming that they took on extra passengers in Gothenburg, but to me, it would count as the same trip. (Unless you find evidence that the sailing from Stockholm to Gothenburg was carrying passengers and/or cargo which debarked at Gothenburg, and new passengers and/or cargo embarked in Gothenburg, in which case I'd use the Gothenburg departure date.)

> :Category: 1630s_Ships or 
> :Category: 1640s_Ships or 
> :Category:1650s_Ships

If you can find the launching date for a ship, I would list it under 1640s_Ships (or whenever the decade of launch was). For a specific sailing, I would use 1640s_Sailings for the Fama and Svanen, and link 1640s_Sailings to Sailings_By_Decade.

If you haven't already seen it, you might find my guide to categories for emigrant-immigrant ships useful.



by Greg Slade G2G6 Pilot (513k points)

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