Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) ChurchEdit

Any history of the Swedes on the Delaware would be incomplete without a short description of Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church]. Old Swedes is a stone's throw from where the first Swedish expedition landed and where they built Fort Christina. it is one of five Swedish churches established by the Swedes along the Delaware in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. Its importance to our fmaily stems from the fact that some of our ancestors worshiped here, some were christened here, and others were buried here. Matthias and Mary were wed here in 1766.


The south entrance to Old Swedes Church with the Brimberry marker in the right foreground

Built in 1698, Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church is reputedly the oldest church in continuous use in the United States. The cemetery surrounding the church contains the mortal remains of many of our Swedish forebearers, including Matthias Brimberry's parents, Christiern Brunberg (1684-1752) and Maria Peterson (1699-1750) who were also wed at Old Swedes Church in 1719. In 1998, descendants of Matthias Brimberry (1799-1854) and Elizabeth Minton (1809-about 1860) placed a monument in Old Swedes Churchyard dedicated to the memory of Christiern Brunberg and Maria Peterson. The upright monument is the white vertical shape in the foreground of the photograph to the right near the south entrance to the church.

Most, but not all, of our Swedish ancestors lived near and attended Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church in Wilmington, Delaware. Some were members of Gloria Dei (Old Swedes) Church in Philadelphia. A few belonged to the Swedish church built across the Delaware River from Wilmington in Penns Neck, New Jersey. Readers are encouraged to learn more about these and other Swedish churches via The Eight Old Swedes' Churches of New Sweden by Rev. Dr. Kim-Eric Williams New Sweden Center, Wilmington, DE 1999. Republished with the author's permission by the Swedish Colonial Society, the publication can be seen online by clicking and navigating Churches of New Sweden

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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