Peter Steelman ~1667 - 1720+

Peter Steelman

            Born: Some sources suggest 1664 or 1667, but without much basis

Married after 1693 Census, to Gertrude Keen, and reported to be in Old Swedes Church Philadelphia, Vol. 2, page 225.

            Will or administration not yet found. 1762 will is not his.    

Died at a date undetermined; Absecon, Great Egg Harbor, today's Atlantic County, New Jersey, needs proof and may be wrong.

            Parents: Hans Mannson and Ella Olofsdotter Stille


 Gertrude Keen

            Born about 1674 in New Jersey

            Died:  unknown

Parents: Hans Keen (__ to <1677/78) +  Willamke __(__ to 1722 Swedesboro, N.J.

Brothers: Matthias Keen, Eric Keen, Jonas Keen, and George Keen


            J.R. Murphy, original 14 August 2009; current revision 4 March 2012


Records for Peter Steelman


1693 Census of Swedes on the Delaware* included:

            Peter Steelman – 4 souls

            Jons (James) Steelman – 4 souls

            Johan Steelman – 5 souls


            Peter Stebbins Craig* believes the 4 souls in Peter Steelman's household were his mother Ella Stille, and brothers Eric Steelman  -  age ~12 and Charles Steelman – age ~14, and himself – Peter Steelman

*  The 1693 Census of the Swedes on the Delaware, by Peter Stebbins Craig, 1993.   


1695/96 Burlington County, West New Jersey Court:  Samuell Nicholis – plaintiff versus Peter Monseur – defendant.  Deposeth that the meadow upon the front of the Upland and now in question belongs to Captain Hance.  Jury finds for the defendant and judgment awarded thereupon.   (Burlington Court Books for 1695/6)


1697:  “Pastor Rudman’s Wicaco Church census of 1697 lists Peter Steelman, his wife Gartara (Gertrude) and two unnamed children as living at Great Egg Harbor.

Reported by Jerry at Ukes4 on South Jersey Genealogy Forum from Peter S. Craig in “The Stille Family in America,” Swedish American Genealogist Vol. 6, No. 4, December 1986 and PMHB 2/225.


1696 July 29 - Great Egg Harbor, New Jersey:  Peter Steelman, who married Gertrude Keen, purchased 100 acres at Great Egg Harbor, adjoining his brother James Steelman who already purchased 500 acres there in 1690 and another 1500 acres on 23 March 1695/6.  In 1706, Peter sold this to his brother James and moved to 110 acres at Gravelly River, ten miles away on the Great Egg Harbor River. 

West Jersey deeds, Gloucester 3:194, 196; 1693 Census, 62-63; deeds, Atlantic County Historical Society.  Peter Steelman and Gertrude Keen from "Swedish Churches in Pa, Volume 3, The Sandel Years, 1702-1719," edited by Peter Stebbins Craig and Kim-Eric Williams, page 68, as found on-line in the Family History Archives at Brigham Young University.   


1704 September 27:  Swedish Church (Gloria Dei of Philadelphia) pastor Andreas Sandel wrote in his diary: "In 27 September 1704, I set out for the ocean, to a place that is called Eggherbour, because, some Swedes lived there, to preach for them; and the same day I got to Elias Tay's across the River...."


"28 September 1704, in the morning Mats Keen and Eric Keen came to Elias's to be my escort; but as they heard that I wished to see all the Swedes who lived thereabout, and they did not know the way to Little Eggherbour, we had therefore sent on the previous evening across the River to Mollicka's people, who we heard also wished to go that way and show us the route.  They too arrived that day, however not before eleven o'clock in the morning.  Then we set out at once upon the journey, and all these were in the retinue: Mats Keen, Eric Keen, Elias Tay (Toy), Carl Stelman (Charles Steelman), Olof Mollicka, Lars Cock, and one Englishman, Abraham Finnie.  We now had fifty miles to travel that day.  Towards even three horses of those who were showing us the route wore out, but we still risked going ahead and arrived at Little Egg Harbour in the evening just at sunset."


"29 September 1704, in the morning I gave a little sermon for those who lived there....   During this morning the others arrived.  After holding the worship service we set out...for the Great other Swedes lived there...twenty miles (away).  We went over the river first by means of a flatboat and two canoes, bound fast on either side of the flatboat; therein we had six horses and eight men.  The way was no trail at all, but very brushy, and moreover we had the hardship of great masses of mosquitoes.  When we got past the woods, toward the ocean we could see salt meadows, vastly wide, and among them are here and there broad and deep water basins, which they call "Pannor."  In the evening we arrived, in darkness.  Here Englishmen and Swedes live right by the salt strand; however, that is not just out on the beach, for there are salt meadows between.  I lodged with one who is called Jons Stehlman, Elias Tay's brother-in-law.  The others were with Petter Stellman, who married the Keen's sister....".

From "Swedish Churches in Pa, Volume 3, The Sandel Years 1702-1719," edited and translated by Peter Stebbens Craig and Kim Eric Williams, page 67-68.   1693 Census, 62-63; deeds, Atlantic County Historical Society, as found on-line in the Family History Archives at Brigham Young University.  Mats and Eric were brothers of Gertrude Keen.


1710 (today’s) Hamilton Township: "Peter Steelman was the first settler in the Gravelly Run area in 1710*...."   Hamilton Township was established 1813.

* Township of Hamilton, Atlantic County, by Township of Hamiliton Historical Society. 


            Gravelly Run has its mouth with Great Egg Harbor River about 4 miles SSE of today’s Mays Lands, Atlantic County, New Jersey.


            The following surveys indicate Peter Steelman had land on the eastern side of Gloucester County:


1710 May 23:  (A). West New Jersey Survey for Mary Tomkins. # Parcels bordering lands of Peter Steelman and John Budd.  Location 724 acres in Gloucester County, Bass River, Mile Run...pine by Basse (alias) G.E. (Great Egg) Harbor."   (Basse's Book, Folio  49...SSTSE023)


1710 October 24:  (B). West New Jersey Survey for John Budd.  In right of an eighth part of propriety allotted to Thomas Hooton.  Bordering lands of Peter Steelman, (Indenture of lease and release 25-26 July 1710) (Warrant dated 10 February 1709)  Location – 134 acres...Bass alias Great Egg Harbor...Bass River....Stephens Creek...Gloucester County.


1710 October 24: (C). West New Jersey Survey for John Budd.  In right of an eighth part of a propriety allotted to Thomas Hooton.   Bordering lands of Peter Steelman, Israel Ward, and Arthur Powell (Indenture of leased and release: 25-26 July 1710 - Warrant dated 10 February 1709). Location...310 acres Bass River...Stephens Creek...Gloucester County

(both John Budd lands from Basse's Book, Folio 230...SSTSE023, as found in online Proprietary Warrants and Surveys, 1670-1727, New Jersey  State Archives)


            On the New Jersey Atlas & Gazetter by Delorme, the mouth of Stephan’s Creek at Great Egg Harbr River has a landmark called “Steelman Landing.”


1710 October 16: Pastor Andreas Sandel's diary continues: "I went from Sinamensing to Eggherbour with Elias Tay (Toy), Jean Bengson, and Jonas Biurstrom, and came to Petter Stelman's in the evening, and had thus gone fifty miles that day,  The second day we went from there ten miles to Eggherbour and lodged with Jons Stelman'.  The following day I preached two sermons, one in Swedish and one in English.  This done, we (returned by way of)...Petter Stelman's on the way home, and the following day home...."

From "Swedish Churches in Pa, Volume 3, The Sandel Years, 1702-1719," edited by Peter Stebbins Craig and Kim-Eric Williams, page 146, as found on-line in the Family History Archives at Brigham Young University.


1720 January 5: Death of Peter Steehlman, son of Peter Steehlman.^^ 


1720 April 19 -  Raccoon Creek Swedish Church, donation book:^^

            Hans Steehlman – 1 shilling for Bible

            Olof Steehlman – 3 shillings for Psalm Book

            Peter Steehlman – Bible & Psalm Book, 1 shilling each


1720: List of those who subscribed for the purchase of the parsonage in Pilesgrave and gave them bonds:^^

Hans Steehlman, Junior 0.6.0

Eric Steehlman 1.0.0

Peter Steehlman 1.0.0

Hans Steehlman 1.0.0 (twice entered, possibly Sr. and Jr.)


            Notice that the Raccoon Creek Swedish Church is on the west side of the State and suggests Peter Steelman has moved.   


            Glenn Bingham reports that Peter Steelman moved from Egg Harbour River area to a spot near the Delaware, “probably to Auburn in Upper Penns Neck (now Oldmans) township where he finished his days.”

Email courtesy of Glenn Bingham, 2 March 2012  


Children of Peter Steelman and Gertrude


(1). Charles Steelman "I," born about 1697.  Charles Steelman married 1st   on 5 January 1730/31 to Margaret Skull (source - ?), and second to Mary Adams, daughter of Jonathan and Barbara Adams.  A sister of Mary Adams married Matthias Steelman, brother to Charles Steelman.  See next generation


(2). Peter Steelman (Jr.), born about 1700 and died 1720.^^ 


(3). Gertrude Steelman, born about 1702. 


            Could the name be Gartara Steelman (Swedish) and Gertrude (American derivation)?  Lake Family history* states Daniel Lake married by Governor's license on 14 September 1730 to Gartara Steelman.  This history then states she was possibly a daughter of Hance or Peter Steelman.  Peter and James Steelman are both mentioned in the records of Old Swedes' Church (Gloria Dei), Philadelphia.  "20 September 1737, Daniel Lake was appointed by the Gloucester County Court a constable to attend the Grand Jury.  The Will of Daniel Lake is dated 30 October 1772, and was proved 13 April 1774.  Executors were son Daniel Lake (Jr.) an (Senior's) wife "Gorteriff.".   

* "A  Genealogy of the Lake Family of Great Egg Harbour in Old Gloucester County in New Jersey, by Arthur Adams, 1915.


1739 November 7 – Gloucester County, New Jersey: Will of Peter Scull of Great Egg Harbor, Gloucester County, yeoman; will of:  Wife Jane.  Sons – Peter Scull, Philip Scull, Samuel Scull (the home plantation and 216 ½ acres, one-third of which fronts upon the river line), Daniel Scull (216 ½ acres between Peter and Samuel Scull, one-third upon the river line), David Scull (likewise) and John Scull.  Daughters – Marey Lake, Pashance Truax, Elizabeth Tounsen, Ann Scull.  Granddaughter – Gartrey Steelman.  Executors – Nathan Lake, Samuel Scull.  Witnesses – John English, Daniel Scull, Benjamin Utter, James Marsh.  Affirmed 7 November 1739. 

(Lib. 4, page 207, New Jersey Colonial Documents, Calendar of Wills, Volume 2, page 422)      


(4). Matthias Steelman, born about 1705, married _ Adams, daughter of Jonathan and Mary Adams, and has a long line of descendants.


(5). Mary Steelman, "daughter of Peter and Gertrude Steehlman" born 5 January 1720 and Christened 17 January 1720 at Swedish Lutheran Church, Raccoon, Gloucester County, New Jersey.  Godparents were Hans Petersson, And(rew) Dahlbo, Debora Hoffman, and Elsa King.