Saturday, March 22, 2014

Kalmar Nyckel

My family, having lived on the coast of Florida and North Carolina for over 300 years, can claim a diverse maritime history. There are many ship captains, fishermen and boat builders in the family tree.

Kalmar Nyckel
It is my wife though who's mother grew up in dry, desolate Texas that has the 300 year old ocean crossing story that comes with a ship that you can still sail. 

Her grandmother's maiden name was Longacre. The first Longacre in her family arrived in the fall of 1639 aboard the Kalmar Nyckel.

Peter Andersson (Longacre) came with other Swedes to what they called New Sweden in the Delaware Valley.

The Kalmar Nyckel was a armed warship, converted into a merchant ship, that between 1637 and 1644 made four runs to the new county with Swedish immigrants.

A reproduction of the ship was built in 1995 and today from April to October you can find it at the home port in Wilmington, Delaware and go for a sail. It is also in Philadelphia during the summer on certain weekends. This will be on our list when we visit our daughter this summer.

Peter Andersson was born about 1620 and after coming to America went back to Sweden in 1654, married Gunnilla Andersson and brought her back the next year.

Peter died about 1678 and he was probably buried at the old Swedish log church at Wicaco, site of present day Gloria Dei church across from the Philadelphia harbor. It was built in 1700. The oldest part of the church cemetery was covered over to build raised platforms for I-95. They didn't move the old graves when the interstate was built over them but the State added these Swedish seals to mark the location.

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