Johan Anderson från Strängnäs
Stålkofta (1646 -Swedish)
Staulcop (1656-Dutch)
Stalcop, Stallcop (1664- Eng)
Stallcup (1838-Am)
Stalcup (1890-Am)
Larry Spencer Stallcup
 

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Happenings




You are requested and encouraged to add your comments and contribute your news and Stalcop Family stories to this web site.

Stålkofta’s Armor & Beaver Hat

Not long after arrival in New Sweden, and especially after falling under Dutch control, the settlers found themselves having to rely on their own resources. The beaver felt hat is like the ones they could make for themselves. The feather adornments are from birds they would encounter in their new home. This hat has wild turkey, seagull and a guinea fowl feathers. The settlers brought the guinea fowl, native to Africa, with them to the colony.

Settler trade with the native peoples was prohibited but they dealt with English traders. Johan Anderson is believer to obtained his “Steelcoat” armor from an English trader. The English imported large quantities of plate armor mostly for trade with the natives. The armor became the basis of his nickname and still later the basis for the Stalcop family surname.


  THE STALCOP APPLE
Larry Stallcup

 


Stalcop Apple Blossom
 

Several years ago when I first discovered the Stalcop apple trees growing in the North Carolina State Orchard at Horne Creek State Park I was discussing, by email, my wonderful find with Hans Ling in Sweden. Hans mentioned that there were few, if any, of the 1600s verities of apple trees in Sweden because the hard winters in the early 1700s killed most of them. Hans and I came up with the big idea that it would be good to return a few of the original Swedish varieties of apple trees to Sweden. At the time I did not know much about apples and apple trees.

During my next trip to NC I stopped in and talked to the director of the NC State Orchard. He sent me to the North American Fruit Tree Gene Bank in New York to get true Stalcop apple scions. That is when I learned that apple trees are not grown from seeds but grafted to a rootstock using scions.

Guess I talked too much about the project for someone soon contacted me asking to have “Rambo” apple scions included in the “return to Sweden” project. Well, what an unexpected bump in the road I hit! When I asked the North American Fruit Tree Gene Bank for scions for the Rambo apple the response was "There is no such thing as a true Rambo apple." I was told that the name "Rambo" was merely a marketing name. They were whichever saplings the salesman had available when the farmers asked for Rambo saplings. Whatever was available instantly became Rambo saplings. This bit of bad news was passed on. Not long afterward the Stalcop apple was completely shut out of the Return The Apple Trees To Sweden project. Only “Rambo” apple scions were returned to Sweden. Being excluded may prove to be a blessing in disguise.

The 1655 Dutch conquest of New Sweden did not solve all of the Dutch problems. Stuyvesant had to quickly return his soldiers home to defend the New Netherlands settlers. At the same time he desperately needed the New Sweden colonist to stay right where they where to prevent encroachment by the English. He solved both problems by staging a land give-away. Three days after the surrender he began issuing land patents to the Swedish settlers for the land they were assigned to work under the government of the New Sweden Colony. Constable Johan Andersson Stålkofta, being the only officer living at Fort Christina, received a Dutch patent for the entirety of the Company Reserved land. This included nearly a thousand acres including Fort Christina and all of the land around it.

The engineer Peter Lindeström drew a map in 1654, more than a year before the Dutch invasion. Just outside the main gate of the Fort his map shows a fenced area enclosing garden plots and an orchard. Stålkofta lived in
  one of the three houses shown on this map so he may have been the person who planted the garden and trees. The orchard and garden plots were in place when Governor Risingh arrived so it must have been planted earlier under Governor Printz.

According to Governor Risingh’s Journal the fence around them was built to prevent damage from free roaming hogs and cattle. It may be the oldest proven orchard in the United States. Stålkofta became the clear owner of the orchard and garden in 1655 as part of the Dutch land give-away. Post invasion reports by Governor Risingh say Stålkofta’s house and garden were damaged during the siege. Stålkofta is the only soldier acknowledged with a garden.

       
                             Portion of 1654 Map

The apples on those trees surrounded by that fence quickly became known as the Stalcop variety of apple. About a century later, after 1750, and after the trees were spread to other places, the apples began to be called VanderVers because they were often associated with Inns operated by members of the VanderVer family. The Stalcop apples are considered as excellent apples for making apple cider, a staple of the Inns of the period.

The timing proves the scions for the VanderVer apples came from the Stalcop apple trees. The trees appeared on the 1654 map some ten years before Jacob VanderVeer arrived at
 


2010 - A fruit bearing Stalcop Apple tree

Timber Island across the Brandywine Creek from Fort Christina.  Still later there were marriages between Stalcop daughters and Van der Veer sons. No doubt all sorts of things, including apple scions, were swapped between the two families after that. The Stalcop apple variety was quickly spread up and down the East Coast from New York to Georgia, at first mostly in orchards near the VanderVer operated Inns and later to individual farms. Both Benjamin Franklin and George Washington grew Stalcop apples:

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN PAPERS, Volume 14, page 53: list of Apple Scions sent to Benjamin Franklin by

Lewis Morris and Hugh Roberts dated 21 Feb 1767:
“This canister contains No 1 a bundle of Cions from … No 2 a bundle of Cions from … No 3 a small bundle of Cions from an excellent Vandever apple... No 4 a
  bundle of Cions from …”

DIARIES OF GEORGE WASHINGTON, Volume 4,
p. 286: (27 Feb 1786)

“Having received, yesterday evening a number of fruit trees from my Nephew, Mr. William Washington of Blenheim I planted them in my fruit garden … Vandiviers [2]”

The Stalcop variety of apples have been grown and marketed under more than fifty names. In 2010 the North Carolina State Orchard, located at Horne Creek State Park near Pilot Mountain, NC has seven Stalcop apple trees propagated from scions obtained from the North American Fruit Tree Gene Bank.
 


Espalier Stalcop Apple Tree - 2010


Stalcop Apple – Artist Rendering
Ros Stalcup 2010

 


Espalier Stalcop Apple Tree - 2010


TREE PLANTING - 2010 STALCOP FAMILY GATHERING
 

A Stalcop apple tree was planted at the log cabin in Swain County, North Carolina during the 2010 STALCOP FAMILY GATHERING some 355 years after the Stalcop Apple trees clearly became part of the family holdings. The area, now the property of Crayton and Freida Stallcup Gilsdorf, was once a Stallcup family apple orchard beginning about 1905.

 

Left to Right:

Freida Stallcup Gilsdorf, Crayton Gilsdorf,
Mary Jane Stallcup Joyner,
Larry Spencer Stallcup and Juanitta Stallcup Baldwin

 
A stone monument inscribed to mark the ceremony was installed at the base of the new tree.

                           *******************

The following description is from A VIEW OF THE CULTIVATION OF FRUIT TREES, AND THE MANAGEMENT OF ORCHARDS AND CIDER: by William Coxe, 1817:

pp. 141-2:  “No. 71. VANDERVERE.  This apple is sometimes called the Staalcubs [Stalcop], from a family in Delaware State, by whom it was cultivated . . . . .

. . . . it is of moderate size, and when growing on a highly cultivated light rich soil, is a much admired fruit for culinary purposes; it is a tolerable eating apple, and . . . . makes good cider – it is a winter fruit, but can be used for cooking very early, when quite green, and not half grown.

. . . . . The form is flat; when ripe, the skin is a pale red with rough yellowish spots, and some clear yellow; the flesh is rich, yellow, sprightly, and tender.”
 
 

FOREFATHER ADDRESS



Larry Stallcup was asked to be the speaker during the joint Forefathers Luncheon and Annual Meetings of the Swedish Colonial Society and the Delaware Swedish Colonial Society. The luncheon was held at a location high up on the riverbank that provided a magnificent view of Tinicum Island on the opposite shore of the Delaware River. Tinicum was the capital of the New Sweden Colony under Governor Printz.

Larry’s talk was about the location and archeological search for the site of Fort Elfsborg, 1643 to 1652. If the site of the fort can be located it should provide a major addition to the knowledge of the life and times in the early New Sweden Colony. Fort Elfsborg was the only New Sweden site abruptly abandoned and allowed to decay naturally so most of the artifacts should be preserved in place.
 



ANN and EDWARDS “Ed” STALCUP
Far traveling adventurers
By Ann Stalcup


My Life in England During World War II:
I was born Josephine Ann Hotchkiss in England, in the small town of Lydney, in the county of Gloucestershire, right next to the South Wales border. I am the daughter of Samuel Joseph and Elsie Watson Hotchkiss.

Soon after my fourth birthday the Second World War began (1939). It was a strange time to be a child. Although I lived in the countryside, a long way from the cities that were badly bombed, our lives changed in many, many ways.  You can read about my wartime adventures in my first book, On the Home Front: Growing Up in Wartime England.


Ballerina, Artist . . . Teacher?
As a published writer I often meet other writers. Most of them tell me that they loved to write when they were children - diaries, stories, and plays. Although my mother's love of poetry and good literature instilled in me a love of words, being a writer was not part of my dreams. I had only one career in mind. I wanted to be a ballerina. I was good at art, too, so sometimes I thought I could be an artist if I changed my mind about ballet.
When I was 18, I realized that I was never going to be a great ballerina or great artist so I went to college and trained to be an elementary school teacher. As a teacher I have been able to teach dance and art as well as all
of the other subjects that my students needed to know. After over 40 years of teaching I have never been sorry that I chose teaching as my career. And I'm still dancing!

Off to See the World
When I was 24, I decided it was time to see something of the world. Until then, I had never been outside England. So I taught in Vancouver, Canada, for two years, and during the vacations, I explored the United States, the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, and Hawaii. During the school year, in the evenings and on weekends, I worked as a babysitter and dressmaker. I saved enough to travel around the world for a whole year. And it was those travels that led to my becoming a writer.

When I got back to England, my next door neighbor said, "Did you have a nice time, dear?" I said, "Yes, thank you." No one else asked me where I had been for three years. And I was too shy to tell them. That's when I realized that if I were too shy to TALK about my travels, then WRITING about them was another way of talking. And I have been writing ever since. But it was 30 years before my first book was published.

A Lifetime of Traveling - and Writing
I was 28 when I met my husband, Edwards Stalcup – at a bus stop in Athens, Greece I had just completed two years of teaching in Vancouver, Canada followed by a 9-month trip around the world - alone. Ed was a teacher, also, an American who grew up in Texas. It was the first time he'd been to Europe. We were married four months later. I said goodbye to my family and settled in Los Angeles, California, and later in Malibu. A year later

 


Ann & Ed Stalcup in Chile (Torres del Paine in Patagonia)


Ann & Ed Stalcup sightseeing in Greece

Ed and I spent 15 months traveling in Europe and since then we have traveled during every school holiday. We have ridden donkeys, camels, and elephants, visited remote spots like Timbuktu, Machu Picchu, Papua New Guinea, and Antarctica, and camped with tribal people in Mali, Niger, and Ethiopia. Together we have visited over 150 countries and all seven continents. Most of my writing has related to my experiences. And when I'm not writing or teaching, I love to cycle, walk, read, spend time with friends - or dance.



Ann and Ed Stalcup in Cuba
 

Edwards “Ed” Lyman Stalcup was born in Goree, Texas in April, 1931 to Ira Lyman and Delta Edwards Stalcup. Ira Lyman Stalcup had settled there after moving from east Texas. Ed’s parents were in the grocery business. Ed graduated high school in 1948 and attended Texas Tech in Lubbock for three years. He joined the Navy during the Korean War and was stationed in California for almost four years. After his discharge from the Navy, he attended UCLA and got his degree in History. After attending summer classes at the University in Mexico City; he returned to Los Angeles to qualify for a teaching credential. He taught at Mark Twain Junior High School in Los Angeles for 35 years before retiring. I was a teacher at the elementary level. As teachers our vacation time has given us plenty of time to explore the world. We are still married and still traveling. In Ed's spare time, with absolutely no practical background in art, he has become a watercolorist
exhibiting and selling his work. Some of his work can be seen at www.Malibuart.org.
 


Late afternoon view from Ann & Ed's home in Malibu, CA
 


CHASING THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE BIBLE
Larry Stallcup


Many years ago I learned about a shipment of Swedish language Bibles and spelling books sent to the New Sweden Colony. They were requested when the Swedish Colony was re-discovered along the banks of the Delaware River almost 40 years after the Dutch conquered them and they had been long since forgotten in Sweden. A 1693 census of the New Sweden community was conducted and a letter with the census was sent off to Sweden requesting Bibles, spelling books and Swedish ministers.

Three ministers and several boxes of Swedish Bibles and spelling books finally arrived in 1697. One of the ministers sent over was Erik Björk, who five years later married Christina Stalcop, granddaughter of Johan Andersson, alias Stålkofta/Stalcop, the ancestor of all Stalcops. The Bibles were distributed to the heads of the Swedish families. Our ancestor, second generation Pietter Stallcop, Christina’s father, received one of the Bibles.
 
How is it possible for a Bible to survive that long? It is very possible. Several years ago one of the original spelling books was discovered in an old house in New Jersey. It had survived for three and a half centuries. A Bible probably would have had better care than a spelling book so a Bible may have had an even better chance at survival.
 
I was told about a foreign language Bible in Murphy, NC supposedly in the keeping of a man named Horace Stalcup. Horace passed away before I could arrange to meet him and it was never clear what happened to the reported Bible. The problem has been to find who has the Bible to verify that it does actually exists and then being allowed to have it examined. If it exists there is a possibility that the Bible could be the Swedish Bible passed down from second generation Pietter Stallcop. The discovery of one of those 1697 Bibles historically would be a great find. It would help put the Stalcop Family in its proper place in early American colonial history and could provide a big boost to New Sweden and North Carolina history as well.

If the Bible exists there is probably only a slim chance that it is a Swedish language Bible. After the exodus of the Stalcop family from the former New Sweden Colony area, about 1768-1770, sixth generation Peter Stalcop married a Dutch girl, Polly Garrison, in Orange County, North Carolina. Polly Garrison Stalcop was the grandmother of all of the patriarchal Stalcop early settlers of Cherokee County including Jesse R. “Hyatt” Stalcop/Stalcup, among other Stalcops. A stronger possibility to explain the Bible, if it exists, is that it may be handed down from Polly’s Garrison family and is printed in Dutch.

Polly’s family, her parents and siblings, had taken part in the exodus and settled in Orange County, NC very near the Stalcop family. Peter Stalcop and Polly Garrison were married in Orange County in 1780. In 1783 William Stalcop moved his family yet again westward to Davidson County, NC. The area is now Trousdale County, TN. Peter and Polly moved with William. Henry Garrison, Polly’s father, moved his family in concert with Peter and Polly’s move.

Because the TN area was simply confiscated from them the Native Americans reacted violently. Homes and farms were attacked. Finally, a number of the early settlers with young children retreated eastward across the mountains into Burke County, NC about 1796. The families of Peter and Polly Stalcop and Henry Garrison were among them. Henry Garrison died in Burke County about 1805. Polly is believed to have died in Burke County about 1807. Peter Stalcop remarried and with his second wife and most of his and Polly’s younger children moved to Orange County, Indiana in 1810. At least one, possibly two, of Polly’s older children remained in Burke County. About 1837 those children and grandchildren all left Burke County, apparently taking the Bible with them, and moved deeper into the Smoky Mountains, to Macon and Cherokee Counties.
 
The Bible, if it ever existed, possibly being a Garrison Bible and printed in Dutch is probably a much stronger possibility than it being an older Swedish Bible. There would be less survival time required and fewer pass-down inheritance decisions involved. Of course if it is either a real Stalcop or Garrison family Bible in either Swedish or Dutch would make little difference. It would be a tremendous artifact enhancing the history of both families, of Colonial America as well as Burke, Macon and Cherokee Counties and North Carolina history.

The Bible has no monetary value at all. On the other hand historically and academically it could be extremely important to the history of the Stalcop Family. But we will never know what it is unless the Bible is found and experts are allowed to examine it.

MILESTONE REACHED

A milestone somewhat rare in the Stalcop family has happened. 

       


Children and grandchildren, friends and relatives all gathered to celebrate the milestone. 


      
May 15, 1959                            May 15, 2009

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

STEELMAN HOUSE DEDICATION
By Christina W. Lassen,
Swedish Colonial Society

On June 13, 2009, the Historic Elk Landing Foundation (HELF) held a ceremony to dedicate “the first phase” of the restoration of the John Hanson Steelman house. It was a beautiful day in which to unveil what could be considered to be a miracle. There were speeches by Josh Brown, president of HELF, and by Mayor Joseph Fisona of the Town of Elkton. There was a musket volley by four members of the Col Henry Hollingsworth Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, Cecil County Militia of 1777.

Following the ceremony in front of the newly restored house, the group walked over to the herb garden. The garden had been lovingly restored by the Master Garden Club of Cecil County. During a second ribbon-cutting ceremony, the garden was dedicated to Julie Anne Wilcox, a daughter of Judge and Mrs. Wilcox, who had died of breast cancer.

The house had been in a state of complete shambles. It needed an infusion of $400,000.00 to stabilize it. Miraculously, the small band of sixteen board members had secured grants from the Maryland Historical Trust and from the State of Maryland and had matched the grants.

The house, which is situated on the East bank of the Little Elk River, had been full of snakes. Tall trees grew inside. On the exterior there had been a frightening bulge in the stonework, which, if it had given way, could have brought down the entire structure.

Over the course of a long winter all these problems had been corrected. The stone had been re-pointed. A plywood floor and temporary stairs had been constructed in the interior. As if to celebrate the newly refurbished house, a colony of bees were promptly taking up residence. As part of the day’s celebration, a local bee keeper discussed bee keeping.

A professional photographer had documented the restoration and had a scrapbook there for visitors to enjoy.

In attendance were members of the Hollingsworth family. The Hollingsworth house is on the Elk Landing site and was the first building HELF restored. The descendants of Valentine Hollingsworth convene there for reunions.

The Steelman house is still in need of windows (@3,000.00) and mechanical systems. Contributions may be sent to The Historic Elk Landing Foundation, Inc., The End of Landing Lane, P.O.Box 277, Elkton, MD 21922-0277.


OLDEST STALCOP HOUSE BEING SAVED

Thanks to the hard work of Judge and Mrs. Kenneth Wilcox and the Historic Elk Landing Foundation the oldest house associated with the Stalcop Family is still in existence and has been started on it way to being restored.

Recently, in June 2009, there was a dedication ceremony held at the house to mark the end of the first, and perhaps the most crucial, phase of the project. If it had not been successful the house would have been lost. Structural floors and a new roof were built to replace the structures that had collapsed. Additional work was done to stabilize the outer walls. Those walls were built of native stone from the area. All of the walls were re-pointed with mortar to replace the mortar that had deteriorated during three plus centuries.

Dr. Peter S. Craig and Dr. Richard Hulan, both of Washington, DC, were successful in having the house listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The house has been the subject of several Swedish Colonial News articles. Dr. Craig wrote an article for the Fall issue of 1994. A second article appeared in the Summer, 2000 issue. The Spring 2008


Front and right side of the house after the first phase of the restoration work

issue of the Swedish Colonial News includes an excellent article by Christina W. Lassen. Photographs appearing in her article show the house in 1949 when it was still being used as a residence and the derelict state the house was in 58 years later in 2007 after the roof and floors gave way. Christina Lassen is from PA and is a Councilor of the Swedish Colonial Society.

The Stalcop Connection?

The house was both residence to John Hans Steelman and his wife and children and his Indian Trading Post. His wife, Maria Stalcop, was the youngest daughter of original New Sweden settler Johan Andersson Stålkofta/Stalcop and his wife Christina Carlsdotter.

Steelman began building the stone house possibly as early as 1693 when he moved from New Castle County, Delaware. The 1693 census of New Sweden shows his family, consisting of five “Souls”, living at Sahakitko, or now Elkton, Cecil County, Maryland. The house clearly seemed to have been completed sometime before the three Swedish ministers arrived in 1697.

Trading activities took place at the basement level of the house. That level faced the creek. The creek can be glimpsed on the right side behind the house and there likely was a dock at waters edge. This dock was very important because it helped ease the loading/unloading tasks of the trading post customers as well as Steelman’s work in restocking and shipping out the items he acquired in his trading business.

Transportation in Steelman’s era was nearly all by boat. There were at least one, if not several, archways, now closed up with stonework, along the creek side of the house that provided access into the interior of the trading post.


Two back to back corner fireplaces at the main living level. A wall, no longer present but which
will be restored, divided the space into two rooms. A similar pair of fireplaces are found on the
floor above. The big chimney serves all four of them. The flue in the back right corner of the
house served two smaller fireplaces, one on each floor.

Steelman’s house reflects that he once was a wealthy man. It is both a well-designed and well-constructed house. It has four usable floors. It had a basement or trading post level, two main living levels plus an attic level that was probably used by his


Two smaller back-to-back corner fireplaces, again with the dividing wall missing, on the second living level
directly above the larger ones below.

children as sleeping quarters and play room during bad weather. There probably were at least six fireplaces, each a typical Swedish style corner fireplace. Five of the fireplaces are still in situ.


Fireplace in the right back corner on the main living floor. Note the very large size of the window.
The doorway once opened out to the right side porch. The round hole is from a smoke pipe from a later iron stove.

Another measure of wealth when the house was build was in the number of windows. Glass was very hard to obtain and very expensive. There are thirteen windows with five in the front wall and five in the back wall. They were very large for the times. Three smaller windows were set at the attic level, two on the left side and one on the right side. The front and back entrance doors even had a transom window above them. All of the windows and doors will have to be restored.


Entrance leading to the basement trading level on the
left side of the house.

The house likely had porches on three sides, one in the front, one on the right side and one on the creek side. There are doorways through the outer walls on all three sides. There is a large semi-horizontal access doorway with steps leading down into the basement or trading level from the outside on the left side of the house. The basement originally had only a dirt floor.

An archeological survey found evidence of a log structure nearby. This most likely would have been a smokehouse or a combination Swedish bathhouse and smokehouse. Dr. Peter Craig suggests the structure may have been the original home of Steelman in Cecil County.

Maria Stalcop was probably the sixth of Johan Andersson Stålkofta and Christina Carlsdotter’s children and born about the year 1666. She was about 13 years old when her father wrote out his will. She is known to have married John Hanson Steelman and to have been the mother of at least five children. The identities of her children are not clear. Two were sons, John Hans Jr. and Måns. Maria seems to have been the last survivor of Johan Andersson’s Stålkofta/ Stalcop's children.

After the rediscovery of the community in America upon the arrival of the 1693 letter and census sent to Sweden the Swedish Church dispatched three ministers. Upon arrival in 1697 they first landed at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony and spent two


Right side of the house. Easily seen are the remains of the porch floor levels in front and on this right side
that have been removed. Also evident is what appears to be an added room once attached to the house by the
marks of a pitched roof in the line of the stucco.

weeks there refreshing themselves and replenishing their vessel before continuing their trip up the Chesapeake Bay. They stopped at St Mary’s, Maryland and stayed two days with the Governor of that Colony before traveling on the head of the Bay. After landing they journeyed overland until they arrived at the first Swedish home. Word about their arrival spread quickly and by the next day people had gathered at the house from as far away as fifty miles. A great celebration was held. This celebration was at the home of Maria Stalcop and John Hans Steelman at Elk Landing.

John Hanson was born in 1655 to Hans Månsson and Ella Stille. He later called himself John Hans Steelman. He was an Indian trader and interpreter. He led a colorful life and was involved not only in the affairs of the Swedish community but also in those of Maryland and Pennsylvania. Steelman was a major contributor toward the building of the Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church, probably providing as much as one-third of the building cost.

The following is adapted from an article found on the Internet written by Frank Whelan, Lehigh County Historical Society, Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum.

Hans Mansson, the father of John Hans Steelman did not come to America voluntarily. In the summer of 1640 he entered the garden of a monastery owned by the King of Sweden and chopped down some cherry trees (
two cherry & six apple trees) whose wood he wanted to use to make into mane combs for his horses. Brought to trial Mansson was given a choice of being sent to New Sweden or being hung. He chose to go New Sweden. (He arrived in July 1641 on the same voyage that brought Johan Andersson Stålkofta) After serving five years in New Sweden Mansson was given his freedom. In 1653 he signed a petition in opposition to the harsh rule of Governor Johan Printz. Printz soon returned to Sweden and Mansson and the 20 other signers, among them his friend Peter Jochimsson, welcomed his replacement. Sent to New Amsterdam, now New York, by new Governor Risingh, Jochimsson unexpectedly became ill and died there. (He left a widow and two Jochimsson children).

Hans Mansson married his friend’s widow, Ella Stille. They were to have six sons known as Hansson or son of Hans. The sons adopted the surname of Steelman after their mother’s maiden name of Stille. One (
the first born) of those sons, John Hansson Steelman, was born in 1655 at what is now Grays Ferry Bridge (Aronameck) in the city of Philadelphia. He (John Hans) moved to New Castle County, DE by 1687, married Maria Stalcop and by 1693 they were living in Elk Landing, Cecil County, Maryland.

In partnership with his brother-in-law, Peter Stalcop, Steelman owned land on Red Clay Creek in New Castle County. Peter Stalcop owned and operated a number of water-powered grist and saw mills. The land probably provided raw materials to those mills.

Steelman probably became an Indian trader when he lived in New Castle County. In 1655 Governor Risingh purchased Sahakitko, now Elkton, an Indian trading center, from the Minquas Indians. It was located at the head of the Elk River where the Little Elk and Big Elk meet. Nearly four decades later the 1693 church census shows five Swedish families living at Sahakitko as part of the Crane Hook Congregation.

John Hans Steelman moved his home and business several times as his customers moved westward. He died west of the Susquehanna in present Adams County in 1749 at about the age of 94. By the time of his death he had lost most of his wealth. His estate brought only £23 at auction with most of the items purchased by a grandson. It has not been determined exactly when and where Maria Stalcop Steelman passed away. Probably in Adams County, PA. She and her husband were granted the right to be buried under the floor of Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church but this right was not used.

Photos by L. S. Stallcup, September 2009

 

WANT TO HELP IN RESTORING AND PRESERVING THIS
OLDEST OF STALCOP FAMILY HOMES?


HERE’S HOW

THE ONE CONTROLLING INGREDIENT THAT IS ALWAYS IN SHORT SUPPLY IS

MONEY

The Foundation has commitments from the Maryland Historical Trust and the State of Maryland to receive matching funds provided they raise enough money to reach certain goals.

The work done so far cost about $400,000. Half of that amount had to be raised to receive a matching amount needed to make the necessary first phase repairs. The remaining work will cost at least as much money, or more. It has to be raised before a matching grant can be received.

ANY AMOUNT HELPS

Please send your generous tax-deductible donations to:

HISTORIC ELK LANDING
FOUNDATION, INC.
P. O. Box 277,
Elkton, MD 21922-0277

Be sure to include accurate contact information: your name, address, telephone number and
email address so that an acknowledgement of your generosity can be made.

****************************************************************
 

THE STEELMAN IN-LAWS

John Hans Steelman’ father was Hans Månsson. Born in Sweden, he became a respected leader of the up-river Swedes living within the jurisdiction of the "Swedish Nation," later known as the Upland Court. He succeeded Sven Skute as captain of the militia and served as spokesman for settlers in his area and in 1660 successfully opposed Stuyvesant's plan for them to move to a single, fortified village. His 1100-acre plantation fronted on the Schuylkill River between present Woodlands Cemetery and about 60th Street and extended westward as far as Cobb's Creek (City of Philadelphia).

In the mid-1670s, Hans Månsson became the first white settler on Pennsauken Creek in present Burlington County (NJ). He moved permanently to this site by 1681 when he sold his Aronameck plantation to his stepson, Peter Petersson Yocum. Hans returned to Pennsylvania on occasion. On 25 June 1684, at the request of William Penn, Hans Månsson, aged "72 years or thereabouts," joined Peter Cock, 74, and Peter Rambo, 72, in signing an affidavit relating facts designed to show that Lord Baltimore recognized the right of New Sweden to occupy lands on the Delaware.

Hans Månsson died at Senamensing, Burlington County, about 1691. In the following year his property was taxed to "Widow Hance."

By 1693 Hans Månsson's widow and his six sons (known as Hansson, or son of Hans) adopted the surname of Steelman, undoubtedly derived from her maiden name of Stille. Old Ella Steelman, born in Sweden, was buried in Gloucester County, NJ, 22 Jan. 1718, at the age of 83.


A VISIT TO CHRISTINA CHURCH
A memory of Roslyn and Larry Stallcup




If my identification [my memory] is
correct  this is Christina Church in
Falum, Sweden.





Meta, Hans and Larry entering the
church. The date in the window above
 the door is 1655.




The Magnificent Pulpit

It is mounted on one of the large columns
and is easily in view of everone seated in the church. The floor was replaced in 1906
because the old one was dangerous to walk upon due to the uneven nature of the many carved gravestones.

Christina Stalcop, and her husband, Rev.
Erik Bjork, are buried in the “Priest grave”,
the area reserved for priest and their wives, somewhere near the spot where the photo
was taken. Their tombstones were moved outside when the new floor was installed so
 it is now impossible to know the exact
 location of their resting place.





This tremendous organ is one of the newer features of the church. It is
 about 30 feet wide and about
35 feet tall.



This is a memorial plaque dating
from 1678. It gives the related
 families of the deceased with
their shield designs and their
names.

A number of these plaques were mounted on the outer walls of the church.


My wife Roslyn and I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit Sweden in 2004. A year earlier we had the pleasure of meeting my distant cousin Hans Ling and his beautiful wife Meta when they came over to the former New Sweden Colony for the dedication of the restored 1712 portraits of Rev. Erik Björk and Christina Stalcop.

Hans and Meta graciously invited us to visit them in Sweden if we ever had the opportunity. We had no idea that a chance would appear the very next year when Roslyn was asked to conduct a seminar in the Netherlands. It was just a short flight from Amsterdam to Sweden.

Thanks to Hans and Meta we visited a number of places, particularly places of importance to the history of the Stalcop family. All were fascinating but several of them have stood out in our memories over the years. Christina Church is one of them.

Falum is the center of the copper mining area in Sweden. Often called “Cooperburg” it was the center of several important industries. Among them was the cannon manufacturing and coin minting industries. Since copper was abundant the most abundant coins were minted in copper.


A one Öre coin Ca 1640 from the era Johan Andersson Stålkofta departed
for the New Sweden Colony. He was advanced some 320 of these coins
when he signed on to go to New Sweden. It is about the size of a US Quarter
but somewhat thicker.

 


Larry Stallcup and Hans Ling in front of an “official” stylized
portrait  of Rev. Björk showing him later in life. The 1712
portrait below, painted at about age 43,
before his return to Sweden, is a more true to life image.

 




View looking back toward the entrance door. The old
organ  can be seen up above the balcony. The pulpit is just
 to the right of the camera.

This is the church Rev. Erikus Bjork served when he was promoted to Provost and returned to Sweden. This is the church Christina Stalcop attended until her death in 1720. Her funeral service was conducted here. Other than the new floor, new organ, updated lighting and perhaps the color scheme, very little has changed since their time.

The church apparently did not have a name when Bjork arrived. It soon became known as Kristine Kyrka (Christina Church). There is nothing to indicate that it was named for Christina, her grandmother Christina Carlsdaughter, for the community of Christina in New Sweden or perhaps for all three.

 

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE CHURCH IN FALUN, SWEDEN


New information has recently come to light in 2011 about the Christina Church in Falum, Sweden. The location of the grave of Christina Stalcop has been determined based upon the map made when the new floor was installed.


 

Christina Stalcop and her husband, Erik Björk, are reported to rest in Grave 61 immediately in front of and just to the right of the altar. A place of honor.

A late nineteenth century painting of a winter scene in the area of the church showing the street and possibly a tiny portion of the house, mostly as a dark corner, and perhaps a small portion of the garden where Christina Stalcop and Eric Björk resided. It is on the extreme right side of the painting. The house is said to be the former residence of the Governor of the area who had moved over into the house next door. Notice the curbs and the street lamps that were possibly very early electric lights, or more likely, gaslights.
 

The houses are still there and are still being used as residences. Notice that the church is set at an angle to the street. There is a turn in the street in front of the church unseen in this painting. The church entrance and bell tower are located very close to the street.

2009 GATHERING

It was DRESS UP at the Gathering. All were encouraged to come dressed as an ancestor, real or imaginary. We had farmers, housewives, soldiers and sparking young girls. Paige Stallcup Violette dressed as Al Capp’s imaginary Daisy Mae. Jenny Stallcup Gilsforf was a wood nymph.


BRYSON CITY GOTHIC

Kristie Stallcup Violette, Roslyn Stallcup and Larry Stallcup.
All are dressed as immediately after the Civil War ended.

The CSA uniform simulates the 1st NC State Calvary uniform worn by Lucius Harvey Stallcup, complete with brogans, slouch hat and saber during his two years in the Army.

GOTHIC - LOST IT!

Roslyn Stallcup of Virginia Beach, VA and Sanford Stallcup of Bristol, TN

Having too much fun to hold those
frowns for long.


Work Crew for 2012 Stalcop Family Gathering

 

LONG TIME DREAM COMES TRUE


MarMary Jane Stallcup Joyner and Juanitta Stallcup Baldwin

Earlier this year two sisters fulfilled a long time dream. They had always wanted to go see the Kentucky Derby in person. Better than that one of them won her bet on the 50 to 1 long shot placed at the last second. More of this story will be in volume 3 of Short & Tall Tales.
 

 


WHITE HOUSE RECEPTION

For an ordinary citizen Roslyn Stallcup was rewarded with an extraordinary invitation. It came from the White House and invited her to a reception in thanks for the volunteer efforts she put into painting some of the Christmas decorations that made up the Red White and Blue 2008 Christmas at the White House.






 

 

At the request of the Old Swedes Church & Hendrickson House Museum Larry Spencer Stallcup dressed and playing the part of Johan Anderson Stålkofta for the Four Centuries Fete in Wilmington, DE. The grounds of Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church were once part of the land owned by The Stalcop family. Stålkofta’s son John Stalcop provided the land, inherited from his father, where the church stands and his son Pietter provided labor and materials. Wood to build the pulpit, American Black Walnut, was cut and donated by Pietter Stallcop. That pulpit, now 310 years old, is still in regular use. Following the 1699 church dedication John Stalcop hosted the reception for the dignitaries at his home nearby. Pietter Stallcop’s daughter, Christina, married the first minister of the church, Rev. Ericus Björk, in 1702.


Invitation card sent out announcing the event. The setting behind Larry
 is the porch of Freida Stallcup Gilsdorf’s Bryson City, NC log cabin
where Stalcop Family Gatherings are held.

A distant cousin, Ken Peterson of New Jersey, was the other New Sweden re-enactor appearing during the Four Centuries Fete. Catherine Samuelsdaughter, the daughter of Ken’s ancestor, Samuel Peterson, was the wife of our Pietter Stalcop.

Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church is the oldest church in America with a continuous congregation and that still uses the original building. There are 23 early Stalcop family members documented as resting in the churchyard. It is believed that Stålkofta and his wife Christina, and four of their children; Andrew, Charles, Jonas, and the unknown name daughter were all laid to rest in the graveyard before the church was built and before written records of burials began. Only one Stalcop tombstone, now unreadable, survives but a memorial stone remembering the many early family members resting there has been placed beside it.        

                      
Christina Stalcop  1712 Portrait                         Larry & Ken Peterson 2007 
 



Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church, Wilmington, DE September 2008. The stone and brickwork
building was begun in 1697, completed in 1699. The bell hung in a nearby tree until the bell tower was built.
 

A visit to Holy Trinity Church, Fort Christina Park with its Stalcop Family log cabin, the Kalmar Nyckle ship and shipyard and the New Sweden Centre Museum are all must see sights during any visit to the birthplace of the Stalcop Family. The Hendrickson House and the Delaware Historical Museum preserve many Stalcop family records.


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