Portal:Brimberry family history/Ancestry of Mathias Brimberry

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A graphic summary of Mathias'ancestry is available at Mathias Brymberry's Swedish Ancestors

The parents of Mathias Brymberry (Christiern Brunberg and Maria Peterson) were wed at Old Swedes Church Wilmington, Delaware in 1719.

View of Old Swedes Church looking east toward the church in the direction of Fort Christina Park

The roots of Mathias' father, Christiern, in the province or lan of Halland in Sweden are discussed in the article on the origin of the Brimberry surname, which discusses possible relationships to the Brun/Brunsberg family of Varberg,located on the coast of the Kattegat south of Gothenburg. While Christiern's connection, if any, with the Brunsberg family are unproven at this juncture, it is certain that in his own father's time, Halland län was part of Denmark.

The Danes and Swedes fought and exchanged possession of the fortress at Varberg several times during the Kalmar War. The Swedes gained permanent possession of Halland and the entire Swedish peninsula from Denmark in 1658. The back-and-forth battles for the fortification at Varberg certainly would have been witnessed by the Brun family from the safety of Brunsberg---their estate overlooking the port city and 13th century Danish-built fortress pictured below.

Click on Danish fort at Varberg to enlarge image

What compelled Christiern Brunberg to come to America, long after the Delaware region fell under English control, is unknown. Perhaps it was a sense of adventure on the part of a young man then about 27 years-old. We know from extant Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) records translated by Horace Burr, Courtland B. and Ruth L. Springer, et al that Christiern could read and write and he was instrumental in establishing a school in his home. We also know that he frequently attended religious services and received communion at Old Swedes Church.


18th Century Wagon Maker

Church records and his last will and testament also reveal the names of Christiern's children and their spouses. We also know that he died at the age of 68 following a "haartique" and that his will devised that his youngest son, Matthias, then 16, be "lett out" to a trade. As it turned out, the trade was wagon-making, a craft which Matthias in turn handed down to his oldest son, Peter, and in turn to his grandson and namesake, Matthais, this writer's male ancestors. The above engraving depicts a wagon maker boring a hole for an axle, a task that the first Matthias Brymberry and his son Peter and grandson Matthias would have often performed.

Much more is know about the roots of Maria Peterson, wife of Christiern Brunberg. Maria Peterson, who was 20 when she wed 35 year old Christiern Brunberg, was the daughter of Matthias Peterson and Elizabeth Justis. Maria's paternal grandfather, Samuel Petersson was from Fryksande in Varmland, Sweden. He arrived on the "Oren" in 1654. Around 1665, he married Brita Jonsdottor. Maria's maternal grandfather, Johan Gustaffson (Justis), a King's soldier from the Kinnekulle area of Skaraborg, arrived in New Sweden in 1643 and, as reported elsewhere, in 1654 married Brita Månsdotter, daughter of Måns and Brita Anderson.

Swedish ancestry of Matthias Brymberry (Brunberg or "brown mountain" in Swedish) back to his immigrant ancestors shown in boldface, all of whom came from Sweden. This information is largely excerpted from a report prepared by Dr. Peter Craig with additions and modifications by this writer. At best, this writer's independent research was fragmented and incomplete on some of these same lines; hence Dr. Craig's report is being used with his permission.

  • 1. Matthias Brynberg (baptism spelling; husband of Mary Anderson; 1736->1810)

His parents were:

  • 2. Christiern Brunberg (1684-1752)
  • 3. Maria Peterson (1698-1750)

His grandparents were:

  • 4-5. Unknown
  • 6. Matthias Peterson (c.1670-1719)
  • 7. Elisabeth Justis (c.1675-1730)

His great grandparents were:

  • 8-11. Unknown
  • 12. Samuel Peterson (d. 1689)
  • 13. Brita Jönsdotter (d. 1702)
  • 14. Johan Gustafsson (d. 1682)
  • 15. Brita Månsdotter (d. 1724)

His great great grandparents were:

  • 16-25. Unknown
  • 26. Jöns Andersson, the blacksmith (d. c.1678)
  • 27. Unknown--(wife of Jöns Andersson)
  • 28-29. Unknown
  • 30. Måns Andersson (d. >1677)
  • 31. Brita--(wife of Måns Andersson; d. <1646)

Discussion of Matthias Brymberry's Lineage

To reiterate, in the above list, the names of persons shown in boldface were immigrants. In all cases, Matthias Brymberry's immigrant ancestors came to America from Sweden. We begin with Matthias' parents followed by his grandparents, great grandparents and great great grandparents.

His Parents: Christiern Brunberg and Maria PetersonEdit

#2-3. Matthias Brimberry's parents, Christiern Brunberg and Maria Peterson were married at Holy Trinity Church on 2 July 1719.


Holy Trinity Church Record: Christiern Brunberg and Maria Petersson's Marriage Record, 1719 (Item 4; Click to enlarge)

Faithful communicants at Holy Trinity the remainder of their lives, Holy Trinity Church records tell us much that we know about their 31 years together. Christiern's and Maria's roots are described at length elsewhere, and that information will not be repeated here. Instead, this writer's intent is to share bits and pieces he has gleaned from the past over a period of four decades about their married life together.

Briefly, Horace Burr's translation of the Records of Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church contains numerous references to Christiern Brinberg and his wife Maria. This includes baptismal, marriage, and other church records, including several petitions to the King of Sweden. Church records also show that Christiern was instrumental in establishing a school in his home. No doubt his interest in education was handed down through his eldest son Sven to his son Peter Brynberg (1750-1819), Revolutionary War patriot, publisher, statesman, and founder of one of the first free libraries in America. Some years ago, this researcher was fortunate to receive three books published by Peter Brynberg from now deceased Professor C.A. Weslager, noted Delaware historian and author of "A Man and His Ship: Peter Minuit and the Kalmar Nyckel". I was also blessed with a letter from the late Ruth L. Springer stating to me that all that she and her husband Charles Springer, authors of many Delaware Historical Society articles, had ever learned about Christiern Brunberg indicated that he was well educated and a person "one truly would like to have known."

I am of the view that history is story-telling and those of us who are fortunate enough to have an interest in history have an obligation to preserve and share what we know. Hence, this endeavor. In this same vein, I donated one of the books acquired from Professor Weslager to the Old Swedes Foundation Museum where it is on permanent display. The other two books are primers or textbooks of the day (circa 1800) published by Peter Brynberg.

It is also noteworthy that 19th century Swedish churchman and historian Israel Acrelius in writing about the Swedes on the Delaware in 1693 mentioned several arrivals who came in later times, including Brunberg. Suffice that Christiern Brunberg was active and prominent in the affairs of Holy Trinity Church following his marriage in 1719 to Maria Petersson, who subsequently became the progenitors of the Brimberry family in the United States. However, only one of their three sons, Matthias, the youngest, had male lines to carry on the name.


Holy Trinity Church Record of Christiern Brunberg's Death. Recorded in Swedish, the document states his age and that he was born in Halland län in Sverige (Sweden)

Befittingly, Christiern and Maria are both buried at Holy Trinity Church, where they worshipped regularly. The burial record of Christiern Brunberg reports that he "died of a pitchfork" (heart attack) at the age of 68, that he was born in Halland, a province in southern Sweden, and that he was buried 28 March 1752. Christiern's will, however, was signed six days later on 3 April, 1752. This anomaly is explained by the fact that the Swedes were still using the Old Calendar, while the English were using the New Calendar.

1750 Holy Trinity Church Record of Maria Brunberg's Death Written in Swedish

Christiern's wife Maria Petersson, daughter of Matthias Petersson and Elisabeth Justis, was buried 31 July 1750 at Holy Trinity Church where she was baptised in 1698 soon after the now oldest church in continuous use in the United States was built. Too, Holy Trinity is the same church where she and her husband of 31 years were married in 1719. Her obituary, located near the bottom of the document and recorded in Swedish, reads: "Mary Petersson, wife of Christiern Brunberg, 51 years and 9 months."


Last Will & Testament of Christiern Brinberg/ Brinbery, 1752 (Signature Page, Click on Image to Enlarge)

Matthias was 14 when his mother died, and 16 when his father passed away. His father's last will and testament, on the preceding page, devised that Mathias, his youngest son, "be lett out" to a trade. It is interesting to note that whoever actually prepared the document for Christiern intermittently spelled his last name as Brinberg and as Brinbery. Christiern scrawled his signature, no doubt due to his enfeebled condition.

As previously reported, Christiern arrived in New Castle County prior to 19 September 1714 when he made his first of many appearances at the Holy Trinity communion table. He served as church warden 1721-24 and was elected to the church council in 1729. In March 1723, he gave the preistland (glebe) 30 apple trees which he planted himself in the orchard. Holy Trinity Church records also show that Christiern Brunberg and his wife Maria Peterson had ten children:

  • 1. Elisabeth Brunberg, born 14 Dec. 1719, buried 29 Jan. 1720.
  • 2. Sven Brunberg, born 17 Nov. 1720, who married Anna Pierce 4 Aug. 1751, Margaret Lynam 1760. His name appeared on a militia roll during the American Revolution as Swithen Brinberrey, which prompted this researcher to investigate the Holy Trinity Church records during the early 1960s. His sons John Brynberg and Peter Brynberg, both of whom were Revolutionary War patriots, are also buried at Holy Trinity.
  • 3. Peter Brunberg, born 26 Sept. 1722, who married Ann Owens July 1746, Margaret Vickory (widow of John Vaneman) c. 1750. He moved at Penns Neck, NJ and had a daughter, Margaret, and a son, Christian, who disappeared from available records during the Revolutionary War.
  • 4. Susanna Brunberg, born 15 Aug. 1724, who married Philip Stalcop, son of Andrew and Anna Barbara Stalcop, in 1744. They had seven children, five of whom died in infancy or young. Her first husband, Philip Stalcop, died of pleurisy in 1758, leaving Susanna a widow with two small children. In 1759, she married Eric Anderson. She and her brother, Matthias, moved with their Anderson spouses and in-laws to Orange Co., NC in 1768; thence to southwest Virginia.
  • 5. Matthias Brunberg, born 15 Sept. 1726, buried 24 August 1730. The Swedish practice of renaming children after deceased siblings was common, as evidenced below.
  • 6. John Brunberg, born 19 Jan. 1730, buried 29 Aug. 1730.
  • 7. Maria Brunberg, born c. 1734, married Samuel Seeds 12 April 1753.
  • 8. Matthias Brunberg,born 22 March 1736, married Mary Anderson 11 March 1766. Orphaned when he was 16, he was living in 1753 with his eldest brother Sven in Hans Peterson's ward in Brandywine Hundred. In the 1764 church census, he was shown as a bachelor farmer living in Christiana Hundred adjacent to widow Margareta (Stalcop) Lynam, widow of George Lynam. He probably worked her farm. If so, it is reasonable to assume that he visited the log house Lynam built pictured elsewhere (see Lynam 6.3)

Holy Trinity Church: Mathias Branberry & Mary Andersson, 11 March 1766 (Click to enlarge)

In 1766, Matthias wed Mary Anderson at Holy Trinity Church. Two years later, they moved with his sister Susanna and her husband Eric Anderson to Orange County, NC where Matthias Brumberry appeared on the 1771 tax list with his Anderson kin. The Orange County tax list for 1779 also listed Peter Anderson Sr., Peter Anderson Jr. (Eric's younger brother) and Arruk (Eric) Anderson, as well as "Mathias Brumberry" (Brunberg).

  • 9. Christina Brunberg, born 20 Jan. 1738, buried 28 April 1752 at age of 14, smallpox. She died within a month of her father and her death is recorded beneath that of her father (see above)
  • 10. Elisabeth Brunberg, born 9 April 1741, married William Derickson 6 May 1763.

His Maternal Grandparents: Matthias Peterson and Elisabeth JustisEdit


Bread and Cheese Island located on the Delaware River (Click on image to enlarge)

Matthias Brimberry's maternal grandparents, Matthias Peterson and Elisabeth Justis, were married about 1695. Shortly after their marriage, Matthias acquired what purported to be 300 acres north of Christina Creek near Bread & Cheese Island. On resurvey this land was found to contain 618 acres. The "overage" was granted to Andrew (Anders) Justis, Matthias' brother-in-law. (Andrew had married Matthias' sister, Brita Petersson; and Matthias likewise had married Andrew's sister, Elisabeth Justis.

Matthias Peterson pledged £1.1.0 for the building of Holy Trinity Church, contributed 7-1/2 days of labor and also provided two horses for 5-1/2 days of carting and furnished lathe for plastering. On 24 June 1699 he and his wife were assinged pews in the new church. From 1707 until his death in 1719, he was a warden for the church. He was buried at Holy Trinity Church on 27 Sept. 1719, two months following the marriage of his only daughter, Maria, to Christiern Brunberg.

His widow, Elisabeth Justis, remarried 18 October 1720, the widower Edward Robinson, who was also prominent in the affairs of Holy Trinity Church. She was buried 23 Sept. 1730 at Holy Trinity Church, Wilmington.

Matthias Petersson and Elisabeth Justis had three known children:

  • 1. Samuel Peterson, born c.1696, who married Christina Morton 26 May 1720; buried 1 Jan. 1751
  • 2. Maria Peterson(#3), born Nov. 1798, who married Christiern Brunberg(#2) at Holy Trinity Church on 2 July 1719; buried 31 July 1750
  • 3. Matthias Peterson, born c. 1701, who died unmarried in early 1732

His Great Grandparents: Samuel Petersson and Brita JönsdotterEdit

#12-13. Matthias Brymberry's great grandparents, Samuel Petersson and Brita Jönsdotter were married around 1665 in New Sweden. Samuel Petersson was a Finn from Fryksände parish (present-day Torsby), Värmland. Many years before, the Swedish crown had invited Finns, who were a foresting people, to move into the interior of Sweden, as a part of its design to populate and expand its borders to incorporate the entire peninsula, which was still partially occupied by the Danes as discussed elsewhere.


Sunset at Lake Fryken near Torsby in Värmland

Fryksände literally means "end of lake Fryken". Hence, it is relatively easy to trace Matthias Petersson's roots to the vicinity of Torsby, which houses a Finnish cultural center and museum. Unfortunately, the Finns were compelled by the Swedish crown to abandon their Finnish names and to adopt Swedish naming practices. Born in Sweden, the Swedish colonists of Finnish origin, as foresting people, were particularly well suited for living off the new found land along the Delaware. They introduced log houses as well as split rail fences to the colonies. Their slash and burn farming techniques also paralleled those of agrarian Native Americans.

Samuel Petersson (Peter's son) arrived in New Sweden on the "Örnen" (Eagle) in 1654. Samuel Petersson was then a bachelor and, according to Dr. Craig, Petersson "signed the loyalty oath to Governor Rising with his distinctive mark. Fifteen months later, using the same mark, he signed the oath of allegiance to the Dutch." His "... mark is signifcant as there was another newly arrived freeman named Samuel Petersson, from Bogen, Gunnarskog parish, Värmland, who signed the 1654 loyalty oath with a different mark" and afterwards disappeared from available records.


Patent from Governor William Penn to Samuel Petersson, 1684 (Book A, Vol.1, p.134)

Around 1665, Samuel Petersson married Brita Jönsdotter, daughter of Jöns Andersson the blacksmith of Christina, who had also arrived on the "Örnen". The couple first settled at Crane Hook. In 1669, Samuel Petersson was fined for participating in the Long Finn Rebellion. In 1674, he purchased land at Christiana, where they also inherited his father-in-law Jöns Andersson's plantation in 1678. In his will dated 25 Nov. 1689, Samuel Petersson bequeathed his dwelling plantation at Christina to "he of my sons whom is longest with my loving wife." Records show that Peter Petersson "as longest liver" with his widowed mother, who died in 1702. Six of Samuel Peterson and Brita Jönsdotter's children have been identified:
  • 1. Margareta Peterson, married Erasmus Stedham
  • 2. Catharine Peterson, married Peter Stalcop
  • 3. Matthias Peterson who married Elisabeth Justis(Matthias Brymberry's maternal grandparents, #6-7)
  • 4. Peter Peterson, who married Helena ?, was called Peter Petersson Caupony (short cloak) to distinguish him from Peter Petersson the blacksmith
  • 5. Brita Peterson, married Anders Justis (Elisabeth Justis' brother)
  • 6. Elisabeth Peterson, married Christiern Jöransson

His Great Grandparents: Johan Gustafsson & Brita MånsdotterEdit

#14-15. Matthias Brymberry's great grandparents, Johan Gustafsson and Brita Månsdotter were married in 1654 in New Sweden. Johann Gustafsson,

Table top mountain at Kinnekulle viewed from a distance

from the area of the ancient Swedish capital of Kinnekulle in Skaraborg län, Sweden, came to New Sweden in 1643 as a soldier for Governor Johan Printz. Printz' successor, Governor Johan Rising promoted him to the position of lieutenant of artillery (gunner), stationed at Fort Trinity (present New Castle), where, in 1654, he married Brita Månsdotter, the daughter of Måns Andersson, a freeman who arrived in New Sweden on the "Kalmar Nyckel" in 1640.

After the Dutch takeover of New Sweden in 1655, Måns Andersson moved to the Christina area for four years, but in 1661 he moved to the southeast side of the Elk River in Cecil County, Maryland. Johan Gustafsson meanwhile moved to Kingsessing, on the west side of the Schuykill River, where he resided until his death in 1682. His widow survived him by 42 years and was buried at Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church at Christina (Wilmington) on 22 Aug. 1724. Johan Gustafsson (Justis) and "venerable Brita Justis" (nee Månsdotter) had eleven known children:

  • 1. Gustaf Justis, 1655-1721/2; married Anna, daughter of Mårten Mårtensson, Sr.
  • 2. Måns Justis, 1658-1740; married Christina Andersdotter, dau. of Anders and Anna Svensson
  • 3. Carl Justis, 1660-<1719; married Margaret ?
  • 4. Hans Justis, 1662->1710; married Maria, daughter of Olle Rawson and Brita Andersdotter
  • 5. Annika/Anna Justis, 1666->1727; married 1st Matthias Morton (7 children); two widowers, 2nd Jonas Walraven, 3rd Charles Springer
  • 6. Johan/John Justis, 1668-1716; married ?
  • 7. Peter Justis, 1670-1699; married Brigitta, daughter of Olle and Lydia Swanson
  • 8. Jacob Justis, 1673-1699; unmarried
  • 9. Elisabeth Justis, c.1675-1730; married 1st Matthias Peterson, son of Samuel and Brita Petersson; 2nd Edward Robinson
  • 10. Sven/Swan Justis, 1677-c.1722; married Catharina, daughter of Peter Petersson Yocum and Judith Jonasdotter (Nilsson)
  • 11. Anders Justis, 1681-1740; married Brita Petersson, dau. of Samuel and Brita Peterson

His Great Great Grandparents: Jöns and _____ AnderssonEdit

#26-27. Matthias Brymberry's great great grandparents, Jöns and ____ Andersson arrived on the "Örnen" (Eagle) with their daughter Brita (Jönsdotter) in 1654. Little is known about Brita's parents except that her father was the blacksmith for Christina. Likewise, her mother's first name is unknown.

Around 1665, Brita Jönsdotter married Samuel Petersson, the Finn from Fryksände who also arrived on the "Örnen" eleven years earlier, a year before the Dutch takeover of New Sweden in 1655. On 5 Nov. 1678, Brita's husband, Samuel Petersson, was named sole heir of his neighbor, and presumed father-in-law, Jöns Andersson.

His Great Great Grandparents: Måns & Brita AnderssonEdit

#30-31. Matthias Brymberry's great great grandparents, Måns and Brita Andersson and their daughter 'Brita Månsdotter arrived in New Sweden in April 1640 on the second vovage of the "Kalmar Nyckel" which had left Göteborg in October 1639.

Founded by Dutch merchants in 1621 as a maritime center, Gothenborg, Sweden was the "Kalmar Nyckel's" home port

Much has already been written above about Måns Andersson and his wife and daughter, both named Brita. They reportedly are one of the first two Swedish families to emigrate to America. Learn more about our earliest Swedish colonial ancestors by clicking Måns Andersson to view an article by Dr. Craig originally published in Swedish Colonial News, Volume 2, Number 6 (Spring 2002) portions of which are excerpted and/or quoted below.

Briefly, Brita Andersson, our earliest Swedish colonial female ancestor died within a few years of coming to America. Her husband, Måns Andersson, remarried around 1646 to a daughter of Christopher Rettel. In 1653, Måns Andersson and 21 other freemen complained to Governor Printz about his harsh treatment of the Swedish freemen. Branded as mutineers, several freemen decided to leave New Sweden, including Måns Andersson, "who chose to go to the new Dutch colony established in 1651 at Fort Casimir (present New Castle)."

Johan Rising, the new Swedish governor, arrived in 1654 on the "Örnen", "captured Fort Casimir without firing a shot, renamed it Fort Trinity, and once again Måns Andersson was living under Swedish rule. Måns quickly discovered that the new governor took a more liberal and reasonable attitude toward the freemen." However, Måns Andersson's "return (to) Swedish rule was short-lived. In September 1655, Fort Casimir was recaptured by the Dutch and the mark of Måns Andersson was among those signing an oath of allegiance to Governor Stuyvesant."

"Måns Andersson remained a resident of Swanwick until 1661, when Måns Andersson, his wife and six children were recorded as having immigrated to Maryland, and on 25 April 1662, a plantation was surveyed for him near the mouth of the Elk River on Sassafras Neck in Baltimore (now Cecil) County. This 150-acre plantation was named "Mountsfield." While this new land was being prepared and a new house built, Måns temporarily took up residence at Christina on the Brandywine River, in partnership with Walraven Jansen de Vos (a former Dutch soldier married to a Swedish wife). Måns planted this land for four years and then sold his share to his former Swanwick neighbor, Dr. Timen Stiddem, in 1665, and moved to "Mountsfield" in Maryland where he spent the balance of his life."

To reiterate, far more information about Måns Andersson is available on the Swedish Colonial Society's website, including additional information about his daughter, Brita Månsdotter (who married Johan Gustafsson), and the other known children of Måns Andersson:

  • 1. Brita Månsdotter, born in Sweden by Måns Andersson's first wife (married Johan Gustafsson, Matthias Brymberry's ancestors)
  • 2. Ingeborg Månsdotter, born about 1647 by his second wife (married Hendrick Hendricksson)
  • 3. Christopher Månsson (also Mounts), born c. 1652 (married twice)
  • 4. Lars Månsson/Lawrence Mounts, born c. 1660, (married Sarah unknown
  • 5. Charles Månsson (also known as Charles Anderson), born c. 1664 (Indian trader)
  • 6. Maria Månsdotter, born c. 1676 (married Matthias Matthiason, son of Hendrick Matthiasson, a Finn who also signed the complaint against Governor Printz)
GenealogyNew Sweden
Editors' NotesA Brief History of New Sweden
The Brimberry SurnameHoly Trinity (Old Swedes) Church
The Brimberry DNA ProjectSwedish Naming Practices
Ancestry of Mathias Brimberry17th Century Sweden
Ancestry of Mary AndersonGeography of New Sweden
Lineages of Mathias & Mary Brimberry's 7 Sons
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