Name: Col John Hanson
Died: 16 Nov 1632
Place: Lutzen, Saxony
John Hanson, believed to have been an Englishman, is said to have been
killed at Battle
of Lutzen along with King Gustavus
Adolphus of Sweden. The theory is that he married Margaret Vasa of the Swedish royal family. As far as I
know, none of the historic aspects are proved, namely
- that he was of the English family de Rastrick
- that he was the ancestor of the immigrant Hansons to New Sweden
- that he married into the Vasa family
- that he was killed at Lutzen
Here are some bits and pieces of this interesting story.
The following, part of an 1882 letter from Anna Dorsey to Josephine
Ridue, is transcribed at genforum.
My Dear Miss Ridue-
Your letter reached me in due time, and as I too
am very much interested in genealogical studies, it gave me great
pleasure as well as information on certain points which my dear Aunt
Harriet on account of her condition was unable to give me. My cousin
George A. Hanson who until his death two years ago resided in
Chestertown, was very anxious to collect data relative to my father's
ancestry for a genealogical book of the Hansons separate from "Old
Kent," and for the exclusive use of that family. My mother's being
descended in direct line from our Swedish progenitor who was sent
over by the King and Gov. Pritz to found a colony which extended
from [?] to Wilmington (Delaware). Andrew Hanson was born in Sweden
in 1618, he was one of the three sons of Col. Hanson of the Swedish
army whose father was a son of Margaret Vasa, sister of Gustavus
Adolphus, and John Hanson otherwise De Rastrick, an English gentleman
of rank to whom she was married when the fortunes of the house of
Vasa were obscured by the conquest of the Danes, but which were
restored by thevalor of Gustavus Adolphus afterwards. Their sons
were brought up in the Royal house-hold and the King grafted the
"fleur de lis" (signifying a royal marriage) on the De Rastrick coat
of arms in place of marklets (I have both). Andrew Hanson's sons, at
least one of them, settled in lower Maryland. John Hanson third
elected President of the Colonial Congress was of the Md. branch.
My grandmother Anna Hanson was a daughter of Sam Hanson of "Green
Hill" same branch, and married Nicholas Lingan, a gentleman of birth
& fortune in Georgetown D. C. My mother Chloe Ann Lingan married
William McKenney one of the elder brothers of Aunt Harriet.
. . .
From Old Kent by George Adolphus Hanson, evidently the same
George A Hanson mentioned above, beginning on page 111:
JOHN HANSON, of London, son of John Hanson
and Frances Prichard, while taking a summer tour in Sweden, fell in love
with and m. a Swedish lady, who was closely connected, in friendship, at
least, with the Royal Family. He and his wife d. young, leaving a son, who
was reared in familiar intimacy with Gustavus Adolphus, then a youth about
the same age. At a suitable time he entered the army, served with credit,
rose to the rank of Colonel, became a trusted officer, and was always
retained near the royal person in action. While defending and attempting to
shield his King, he fell, slain in battle, with Gustavus Adolphus, at
Lutzen, 16th Nov. 1632. He left four sons, viz., Andrew
Hanson, -- -Randal or Randolph Hanson, -- William Hanson, and John
Hanson, all of whom were taken under the immediate protection of the Royal
Family of Sweden. In August 1642 QUEEN CHRISTINA placed them in the special
care of Lieutenant Colonel John Printz, Governor of New Sweden, with whom
they came to the Delaware, and remained there, on Tinicum Island, until the
year 1653, when they came to Kent Island.
COL. HANSON, of the Swedish Army, was authorized to bear a coat of arms,
which was preserved by his eldest son and has been retained by his
descendants to the present day. It was appropriate to a Christian soldier,
and the cause for which he died -- Religious Liberty.
A descendant of Hanson's, another John Hanson, was elected President of the United States Congress under the Artiles of Confederation. The following is found at http://www.nordicway.com/search/places/places_washington.htm.
Visitors to the Rotunda in the Capitol building are always taken by surprise
when they come upon a life-size bronze sculpture of the "first president of
the United States". This is because the sculpture does not depict George
Washington but the Swedish descendant John Hanson. The United States
declared its independence in 1776 and the new country was formed on March 1,
1781, with the adoption of the Articles of the Confederation. John Hanson
was chosen unanimously as the first "President of the United States in
Congress Assembled". One of the voting congressmen was George Washington
himself who later wrote "I congratulate Your Excellency on your appointment
to fill the most important seat in the United States." Washington's own turn
was to come eight years later, in 1789, with the new constitution. To this
day there are many who wonder why Hanson's role has been so diminished by
John Hanson (1721-1783) was born on the Mulberry Grove Farm in Maryland,
across the Potomac River from Mount Vernon. The tobacco and maize farm with
some hundred black slaves had been established by Hanson’s grandfather, with
the same name, who had arrived to the New Sweden colony at the age of 13 and
moved to Maryland when he was 23. His father had, according to family
history, fallen at the battle of Ltzen along with Sweden's hero king
Gustavus Adolphus, but the family's Swedish ancestry has never been
As a youngster, John Hanson studied the classics and then, like the sons of
many other well-to-do colonial families, got his education in England. He
was elected to the Provincial Legislature of Maryland in 1775 and two years
later he became a member of Congress where he distinguished himself as a
brilliant administrator. As the first president, Hanson ordered all foreign
troops and all foreign flags off American soil. Within a year, he had
established the first Treasury Department, the first Secretary of War, the
first Foreign Affairs Depart-ment, a post office, a national bank and, above
all, managed to calm down the unpaid troops and hold the country together.
He established the Great Seal of the United States, which all presidents
have since used, and he proclaimed Thanksgiving Day that we have celebrated
ever since. Quite a legacy for an "unknown" president. There is a bust of
John Hanson at the Gloria Dei in Philadelphia and a monument at his
birthplace. The U.S. 50 highway from Washington to Annapolis has been
named the John Hanson Highway and his birthday, April 14, has been declared
John Hanson Day in Maryland. The John Hanson Society did succeed in getting
a six-cent stamp issued in Hanson's honour in 1972, but he must be worth a
greater honour than that.
A grandson of John Hanson became a US senator and a nephew was among the
signatories of the Declaration of Independence. Another signatory was
Benjamin Harrison who also had a Swedish ancestry and whose son William
Harrison became the ninth president, and whose namesake and grandson was
elected the 23rd president of the U.S.
Col. John Hanson's Family
||Died on Kent Island. Married Annika.
||Married Alice. No issue.
||Married May Hussey. He died in Charles county MD.
All original portions ©
Michael Cooley, OrbitInternet.net -