St. Mary's City in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
From Many Lands
"...humble peticoners Garrett Vansweringen and Barbarah his wife Elizabeth and Zachariais Vansweringen ... shall from henceforth be adjudged, Reputed as Taken as Naturall borne people of this Province of Maryland... or were of Brittish or Irish Discent..."
In the 17th century, people came to Maryland from many countries in Europe including England, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Scandinavia, Bohemia, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, and Italy, and various areas of Africa including Angola, the Congo, Ghana, Senegal, and The Gambia.
Colonists who wanted to become Maryland citizens came from many countries. Those requesting naturalization between 1666 and 1676 had to list their country of origin.
What countries did these early colonists come from?
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Maryland settlers came from many places but archaeologists often find it difficult to determine someone's origin from their artifacts. Isolation from the homeland, reliance on different trade networks, and efforts to fit into the new society often mask ethnic identity. Two of the artifacts that do suggest peoples' origins are shown here.
This small medallion bears the likenesses of the King of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus II. Gustavus was a hero to Protestants throughout Europe for his participation in the Thirty Years War. It was either worn by a person from Sweden or someone who greatly admired the Swedish king. How it came to be at the Van Sweringen site is unknown.
Cowry shells were widely used as a means of exchange in Africa as worn by Africans. They are rare on archaeological sites in St. Mary's City. These shells indicate the presence of Africans and a continuation of some African practices in the New World.
Erected by Historic St. Mary's City.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Colonial Era • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 38° 11.131′ N, 76° 26.047′ W. Marker is in St. Mary's City, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. Marker can be reached from Old State House Road west of Point Lookout Road (Maryland Route 5), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 47414 Old State House Road, Saint Marys City MD 20686, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Meet Garrett Van Sweringen (here, next to this marker); A Busy Enterprise (here, next to this marker); The Van Sweringen Site (here, next to this marker); The Van Sweringen Family (here, next to this marker); An Innovative Entrepreneur (here, next to this marker); Tobacco... "our meat, drink, clothing and monies" (a few steps from this marker); …Adjourn to the Arbour at Vansweringens (a few steps from this marker); The Cooling House (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Mary's City.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 4, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 4, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 45 times since then. Photo 1. submitted on September 4, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.