Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Captain Charles Swanson and his brother Andrew

Two men named Swanson are in the Southwark Philadelphia area in the 1830 census.

Andrew Swanson and his presumed brother Charles come in 1813 according to records.These same records indicate that the men are from Goteborg Sweden. Charles Swanson at least very likely served in the Swedish Navy in their war against Russia : "While the War of 1808-09 is not to be considered being of world historical proportions, it certainly was an important event in both Swedish and Finnish history" as when the war ended 110 ships were delivered into Russian hands as was Finland after 600 years the Swedish-Finnish union was dead.

Since Charles Swanson as well as Andrew were born in Goteborg they surely were Swedish but possibly had ties to Finland.To me the men of the family appear more like Finns as they are short and dark a trait that goes on for generations. ( see attached pictures of Richard Johnson Swanson and youngest son Addison)

Andrew Swanson identifies his birthplace in his death certificate in 1862.He is a merchant.

Andrew may leave only one child Catherine B. who marries Cyrus Wilson Foss a merchant who is born in Maine.Catherine B.Foss has two children and memorializes her parents with their names I suspect, Andrew Swanson Foss and Annie Waterman Foss. Andrew and Annie and their families remain in the Delaware Valley for generations.

Charles Swanson dies August 1850 of cholera and that document describes him as a pilot on the river.Posthumously at least he is called "Captain Charles Swanson" in his daughter Hannah Swanson Jackson's obituary.

His sons who followed his career continued to live in South Philadelphia and later Camden NJ these were James and Andrew.

The three men who are found in Beverly NJ seem to be involved in transportation and merchandising perhaps and this combination of occupations may reflect their origins.

The ship type listed in their 1813 passport is "Angare" which means steamship although that is surely not possible?

Civil War records for the Beverly NJ brothers are confusing.From what I have read many men from the Burlington County area went for the bonus money; some actually went to PA for the larger bonus( Bob Knoll has information on that). All three brothers, Edward, William and John may have served in some capacity in the conflict as records exist for all. although not an actual Civil War packet.I have ordered one for each of them from NJ Archives which is offering vouchers for a very reasonable sum.

I continue to try to piece together the Swanson in America tale.

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