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American Swedish Historical Museum genealogy collection


Held at: American Swedish Historical Museum [Contact Us]1900 Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19145

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the American Swedish Historical Museum. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The first permanent European settlement in the Delaware Valley was New Sweden, a colony founded by Swedish emigrants in 1638. Swedish sovereignty over the colony lasted less than 20 years, although Swedes continued to settle in the area and exerted an influence over its cultural development. Swedish immigration to the United States rose sharply for the period from 1867 and 1914, when difficult economic conditions in Sweden and cheap land in the United States encouraged many to make the journey. Most immigrants chose not to settle in the Philadelphia area, and instead moved farther west to Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, California and Washington--the states which still have the highest numbers of Swedish-American today. Nonetheless, the Philadelphia area remains a locus for Swedish-American culture because it was the site of the first Swedish settlement in the United States. In 1926, Sweden's Crown Prince (Later King Gustav VI Adolf) placed a cornerstone for the American Swedish Historical Museum in southern Philadelphia. Construction was delayed due to the Great Depression, but the museum was dedicated during the tercentenary celebration of the New Sweden colony in 1938 (which was marked by another visit from the Swedish royal family).


American Swedish Historical Museum. "History of the Museum." Accessed March 15, 2012.

The Swedish Colonial Society. "A Brief History of New Sweden in America." Accessed March 15, 2012.

This collection is comprised of two series of materials.

The first series consists of genealogy files in alphabetical order, circa 1880-1992. Most files include a family history fact sheet (often a questionnaire for the History of the Swedes in America, 1638-1938), and any combination of the following: photographs, newspaper clippings, narrative stories about significant individuals, written family genealogies, genealogy research notes, correspondence with the American Swedish Historical Museum. There are also two volumes of family trees, circa 1938.

The second series, 1912-1992, consists of narrative genealogies (some published), family history notes, and family trees for American families of Swedish descent. There is a large amount of material from the Yocum family.

Materials collected at various times by the American Swedish Historical Museum.

American Swedish Historical Museum
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Michael Gubicza through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Access Restrictions

Contact American Swedish Historical Museum for information about accessing this collection.

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