Peter Gunnarson Rambo

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Peter Gunnarson Rambo

Birthplace: Hisingen, Kvisljungeby, Västra Götaland County, Sweden
Death: January 29, 1698 (86)
Wicaco, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
Place of Burial: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Gunnar Mattson Mattson; Gunnar Mattson Rambo; Anna Mattson and Anna Rambo
Husband of Anna (Annika?) Petersdotter Rambo; Magdalen Rambo and Brita Rambo
Father of Andrew Peterson Rambo; Swan Rambo; Gunnar Peterson Rambo; Gertrude Bankston; Peter Petersson Rambo, Jr. and 5 others
Brother of Sven Swanson Gunnarson; Hester Smith; Jon Rambo; Sigrid Thorresdotter Rambo; Anders Rambo and 1 other

Occupation: Peter Rambo was buried at the Swedes' log church at Wicaco on January 29, 1698, at the age of 85 years, Farmer & Civil Servant, farmer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Peter Gunnarson Rambo


Peter Gunnarsson chose the distinctive surname of Rambo from his place of origin, Hisingen, the northwestern section of Gothenburg, which is dominated by Ramberget (meaning, raven's mountain) with its enchanting view of the Gothenburg harbor. The correct adress In Sweden: Lundby, Rambergsstaden, Hisingen, Göteborgs Stad, Västra Götalands län, Västergötland, Sverige.

Born in 1612, Peter Rambo was 27 years old when he sailed to New Sweden as a laborer on the second voyage of the Kalmar Nyckel in 1639-40. After becoming a freeman, Peter married Brita Matsdotter from Vasa, Finland, on April 7, 1647. Initially they lived in Kingsessing, but moved by 1669 to Passyunk on the northeast side of the Schuylkill.

During Governor Rising's rule (1654-55), Peter Rambo served on the Governor's Council. He continued to serve as a justice at New Amstel (the future New Castle, Delaware) under both Dutch rule (starting in 1658) and then under English rule (1664-80).

Peter Rambo had a prosperous farm, which included apple trees grown from seeds he had brought from Sweden. The "Rambo Apple"' is still grown in several of the northeastern states.

Peter Rambo's hospitality was well known. Not only was the court occasionally held at his house, but it was also a place where many visitors were welcomed, notable among them William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania.

Peter's wife of over 46 years, Brita Matsdotter, died at their Passyunk plantation on October 12, 1693. Peter Rambo was buried at the Swedes' log church at Wicaco on January 29, 1698, at the age of 85 years and almost eight months.

According to a letter written by Peter Rambo to his sister in Gothenburg in 1693, he had four sons and four daughters. One daughter died at the age of eight. Another daughter (married in 1693 but dead by August 3, 1694, when Peter Rambo revised his will) has not been identified. The six surviving children were:

  1. Gunnar Rambo, born January 6, 1649, died January 1724 at the age of 75 at "Matzong" in Upper Merion township of present Montgomery County, Pa. Married Anna Cock (daughter of Peter Cock); nine children.
  2. Gertrude Rambo, born October 19, 1650, died after 1705 in Moyamensing (South Philadelphia). Married on November 22, 1668, to Anders Bengtsson (Andrew Bankson), who drowned in the Delaware River on September 14, 1705; nine children.
  3. Peter Rambo, Jr., born June 17, 1653, died December 12, 1729, in his 77th year in Lower Dublin township, Philadelphia County. Married on November 12, 1676, Magdalena Skute (daughter of Captain Sven Skute); seven children.
  4. Catharine Rambo, born c. 1655, died after 1708 on Little Mantua Creek, Gloucester County, NJ. Married on February 16, 1674, Peter Mattsson (1647-1699), son of Matthias and Elizabeth Hansson and stepson of Anders Dalbo; nine children, including a daughter Elizabeth (1678-1736) who married the Rev. Andreas Rudman and a daughter Maria (1682-1739) who married the Rev. Andreas Sandel and died in Sweden, where her grandson, Baron John August Sandels (1764-1831), later became a famous general.
  5. Anders (Andrew) Rambo, born 1658, died in 1698 at Passyunk (South Philadelphia). Married c. 1684 Maria (daughter of Peter Cock); six children.
  6. John Rambo, born 1661, buried October 17,1741, in Gloucester County, N.J. Married Brigitta (daughter of Peter Cock); 11 children.


12. PETER RAMBO was born about 1678 (i.e. aged 19 in the Gloria Dei census of 1697) and married (?) (not Magdalena Bauerin! - see discussion below). Peter Rambo lived in New Providence, Philadelphia County. "Peter took up land on Perkiomen Creek farther up the Schuylkill River by 1722 (Phila. Deed, H 6, p. 80)." In 1738, Peter Rambo was warden of St. James's church in Perkiomen, and Samuel Lane was one of the vestry men. Peter died, and his will was proved in July 1753 with his son John Rambo as executor. Peter Rambo had the following children who were named in his will:

  • 121. ANN RAMBO, b. 1716, d. 24 Feb 1798, m. Roger North
  • 122. MARY RAMBO, m. John Koplin
  • 123. JOHN RAMBO, d. ca Apr 1758, m. Anne Lane
  • 124. PETER RAMBO, b. ca 1724-1728, m. Mary Peters
  • 125. WILLIAM RAMBO, d. 1758, m. Hannah Lane
  • 126. GUNNAR RAMBO, b. ca 1723, d. 1802, m. ?

The will of Peter Rambo was dated 24 Aug 1744, proved 10 Jan 1753, recorded in Philadelphia Will Book K: pages 34-35, and filed as #23 - 1753. It is transcribed from the original as follows:(Thanks to Ruth Renton for a sending a copy.) "Be it Known unto all whome it may concern that I Peter Rambo of the Township of Providence in the County of Philadelphia in Pensilvania yeoman, Being now aged and also under Some Present Indisposition of Body; but of a Sound Disposing mind and Memory Thanks be Given to God therefore, Considering the uncertainty of this Transitory Life and the Certainty of Death Do this twenty fourth Day of August in the year of our lord one thousand Seven hundred & fourty four & Make and ordain this my last will and Testament in the following Manner and form (Viz) -- My will is that all my Just Debts both Publick and Private Contracts and funeral Charges together with the Legacies herein Bequeathed Shall be paid as is herein ordered and directed -- INPRIMISE I Give and bequeath unto my Son John [#123] all my tract of Land and Plantation Scituate in the Township aforesd on the East Side of Parkiomen Creek Joyning to Richard Jacobs, Jacob Shoes, & Edward Lanes land Containing by esteamation one hundred & twenty acres let the same be more or less Together with all the Privileges Improvements and Appurtenances thereunto belonging to be freely & fully Enjoyed and Possessed by him his Heirs & Assigns ___ from the Day of my Decease thence forward and forever; And also all my Personal Estate Provided always my Son John or his above Written pay and Perform the Debts and Legacies herein after Specified & Declared to becom Due from him or his above Written -- (IBID) I give and bequeath unto my Son Peter [#124] all my tract of land and Plantation situate on the other Side of the Said Creek Whereon is lately Eric Heds a dwelling house Joyning to the said Richard Jacob and Samuel Lanes land Containing by Esteamation Eighty Acres let the Same be more or less Together with all the Previledges Improvements & Appurtenances thereunto belonging to be freely & fully Enjoyed and Possessed by him his Heirs & Assigns from the Day of my Decease thence foreward & forever; Provided allways my Son Peter or his abovesd Pay and Perform the Debts and Legacies In Manner herein after Specifed and Declared to become Due from him or his above Written -- (IBID) I give and bequeath unto my Son Guner [#126] the Sum of thirty five Pounds Current Lawfull money of Pensilvania to be Paid unto him when he arives to the Age of twenty one years by my Son John or his Heirs Executors or Admir_ -- (IBID) I give and bequeath unto my Son William [#125] the Sum of thirty Pounds of Like lawfull money of the sd Province to be Paid unto him by my son Peter or his heirs execurs __ when he arrives to the age of twenty years & Likewise order that my son William be put to learn a trade of his own Choise (IBID) I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Ann [#121] Now Wife of Roger North the Sum of one Shilling Sterling Money on Consideration of what I have already given her and other Reasons Best known to my Self to be Paid to her or her Sd Husband on Demand after my Decease by my Son John or his above Sd -- (IBID) I Give and Bequeath unto my Daughter Mary [#122] Now wife of John Copling the Sum of one Shilling Sterling Money for the afore Sd Reasons to be Paid unto her or her Sd Husband on Demand after my Decease by my Son John or his above Written --- And Whereas I have Given by this my Last Will the Greatest Part of my Real Estate and all my Personal Estate unto my son John as afore Sd it is my will and ordination that I Remain and abide with him During my Natural Life and he Shall find & Provide for me Sufficient meat Drink Apparel Lodging and Washing Suitable to my age and Condition and when I Depart this Life he Shall Bury me in a Christian like and Desent manner on his own Charge; I also order that my Son John or his aboveSd Shall Pay all my Just Debts Contracted before this Date out of his own Share as aforeSd --- And if Either of my three Sons (Viz) Peter Guner or William Should Dye before they Come to age to Enjoy their Share according to the true Intent and meaning of this my will the Share or Shares of Such that Dyes of the Sd three Shall be Equally Devided between the Survivors of them Share & Share alike --- Lastly I do nominate and appoint my Son John to be executor of this my last Will and Testament, And Do hereby utterly Disallow Revoke & Disannul all & Every other former Testaments Wills Legacies and Executors by me in any wise before this time named Willed or Bequeathed Ratifying and Confirming this and no other to be my last Will & Testament In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal the Day and year first above Written -- Peter Rambo (his mark) Published pronounced & Declared by the Testator as his last Will and Testament in the Presence of us the Subscribers Edeth Adams (her mark), Richard Jacob, Thomas Bull -- N.B. one of the Excrs Bloted out before Sealing & Delivery hereof -- Upon the sixteenth day of January 1753 Then personally Appeared Richard Jacob one of the Witnesses to the foregoing Will and on his Solemn Affirmation according to Law did Declare he saw & heard Peter Rambo the Testator therein named Sign Seal publish & declare the same Will for and as his last Will and Testament and that at the doing thereof he was of sound Mind memory and Understanding to the best of his Knowledge And that Edeth Adams and Thomas Bull the other Witnesses thereto Did also Subscribe their names as Witnesses in the presence of and at the Request of the Testator -- Coram -- Jno Campbell -- by Authority from -- Wm Plumsted Regr Genl -- Be it remembered that on the 10th day of January 1753 the Last Will & Testament of Peter Ramb deced in due form of Law was proved & Probate & Letters Testamentry were Granted to John Rambo [#123] sole Execur in the sd Will named being first Legally Sworn well & truy administer ye sd decedt Estate & to bring an Inventory therof into ye Regr Genls Office at Phil__ at or before the 10th day of February next and tender a true account when thereunto law__ Required Given under the the seal of sd Office ___"

The rumor of Magdalena Bauerin as wife of Peter Rambo has been discredited. The rumor no doubt arose from a published abstract of the Philadelphia Probate Docket F:476. The abstracts states: "Madalena Bauerin, Providence Township, Philadelphia County, spinster, declared on January 2, 1753, that she gave legacies to the poor of Providence Township; to Ann, daughter of Peter Rambo, to whom she was godmother; to George Boger; Daniel Boger; residue to Peter Rambo, where she usually made her abode; mentioned brothers and sisters having been unkind to her; witnesses, Margarette Ramsourin, Diterich Ramsowerin; administration to Peter Rambo, son of Madelina Bowerin, deceased, January 15, 1753." NOTE that the original court documents call Magdalena Bauerin a spinster several times and that the original documents do not mention any family relationship to Peter Rambo.

Thanks to Ruth Renton for copies of the following materials about Magdalena Bauerin. "The Year 1753 IN THE MONTH OF JANUARY an elderly maiden lady of New Providence [HD: M. B.] died. She was a faithful member of our congregation and lived in my house and under our care for several years on account of her physical frailty. She was a poor orphan who had to support herself by light manual labor. Unto whomsoever little is given, of her shall little be required. Her native intellectual powers were not extensive, yet she had a good memory: Beyond this, she was flighty by nature and was inclined to be either melancholy or gay. As a result of her memory and the good instruction she had received in her youth, she acquired an excellent store of divine truths and a treasure of passages from the Old and New Testaments, together with selected edifying evangelical hymns. Moreover, she was tireless in her efforts to increase her store by means of diligent reading, listening, and learning. She was a Sort of walking Topical Bible and Hymn Concordance. She often spent the whole day singing and reciting. Since she worked in her secular calling among people of various persuasions in the neighborhood, she sometimes had an opportunity to testify to the Word of God according to her gifts and lights. The Word of God, which is power unto salvation, which is spirit and life, and which becomes, to those who hear and know it, either the savor of life unto life or the savor of death unto death, had a beneficial effect upon her soul, too, according to the measure of her knowledge and disposition [HD: according to the measure and proportion: that her spiritual powers were capable of development. She was like many students who, in turn, are comparable to patients afflicted with passio coeliaca; they absorb great quantities of food, but digest little of it and consequently transform little of it into bodily humors and life.] Her memory was insatiable, and she gathered a rich store of the truths necessary to salvation, but the other faculties of her mind were not so strong and agile as to enable her to apply these truths properly. Otherwise she might have been an exceptional model in the Kingdom of God on earth. While she was in my home I tried to correct this failing by proper means. I called her attention to her complete poverty of spirit and recommended quiet, introspection, watchfulness, fervent prayer, etc. in order that she might make better use of the divine truths [HD: and in order that the vital power flowing from them might not be so easily dissipated]. For this purpose I gave her, in addition to other pertinent Scripture passages, the hymn 'Jesu, Jehova, ich such und verlange,' etc., especially stanzas 2, 3, and 4. Although improvement did not take place as rapidly as one might desire, the faithful Bishop of souls, in His endless love, patience, and long suffering, did not fail to work upon this poor sheep and save her soul. Finally He hurried her out of this world. In His gracious providence God, who governs even the littlest things and counts the hairs on the heads of believers, arranged it so that she was at the time in the home of a pious Reformed man, was receiving Christian care from him and his honest, Lutheran wife; and was removed without much pain or sickness. She selected the hymns which she wanted sung at the funeral and asked me to preach the funeral sermon on the basis of stanzas 7-11 from the hymn 'Herr Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht,' etc.) which begin Five gaping holes and real, Thy sacred wounds reveal. I acceded to her request. Poor as she was, while she was living she never failed to contribute her mite toward the Church and public worship. In so doing she put to shame many who have nothing to spare for God's cause out of their abundance. The name of the Lord be praised for all the good he has vouchsafed to this soul!"

The estate packet for Magdalene Bauerin contained the noncupative will, letters of administration, and inventory as follow: "Register of Wills In and for the County of Philadelphia Pennsylvania, In the matter of the estate of Madelena Bowerin, Deceased, Will No. 94 Year 1753: The Last Will and Testament of Madalena Bauerin of Providence Township and County of Philadelphia Spinster which She made Verbaly or by Word of Mouth Not only Upon the Second Day of January Last Last [sic] but at Several Times before to the Same Effect She Liveing for Som Time With Us the Subscribers is as followeth Item She Gave Ten Shillings to the Poor of Providence Township Item She Gave her bed and bedsted and all the furnitude Thereunto Belonging as also all her Clows and Apparel Whatsoever and Likewise Twenty Shillings in Money to Ann Rambo the Daughter of Peter Rambo to whom she was God mother. Item She Gave her Prayer Book and Bible unto George Boger Item She Gave her himn Book to Daniel Boger Item her Will Was that all her just Debts and funeral Charges Should be first Paid And All the rest of her Estate She Did Give and Bequeath unto the Said Peter Rambo Where She usealy made her abode And She being Interrogated Wheder She had anyting to bequeath to her Brothers and Sisters She answered Not That as they had bin Very Unkind to her She would Lieve them Nothing This is the Verbal Will and Testament of the Said Madalena Bauerin Made the Second Day of Jenuary In the year one Thousand Seven Hundred and fifty three at the house of us the Subscribers Where She Died As Witness our hands This Sixth Day of Jenuary 1753 Witness [signed] Nichos Bunn[,] ____ ranefouirn[,] Margarette Ramsaurin [her mark]"

The Letters of Administration was faint and difficult to read. "Know all men by these presents That Mr. Peter Rambo Joseph Kendall and Nicholus Bonn of the County of Philadela in the Province of Pensilvania Are held and firmly Bound __ William Plumsted Esq Register Generall for the probate of Wills and Granting Letters of Administration in ___ for the said Province in the Sum of Forty -- Pounds lawfull money of said Province To be __ the said Register Generall his certain Attorney Executors Administrators or Assigns To the which payment ___ and truly to be made and done. We Bind ourselves Jointly and Severally Our Heirs Executors and ___-trators and every of them firmly by these presents Sealed with Our Seals being dated ____ Calculation and Reckonning of the said Administration at or before the Sixteenth day of January Anno D__ 1754 And all the Rest and Residue of the Goods Chattles Rights and Credits which were of the deceas_ which shall be found Remaining upon the Administration Account - the same being first Examined and allowd ___ the Orphans Court of the County of Philadelphia Shall deliver up and pay to Such person or persons as the Court by its decree or Sentence Shall Limit and Appoint And if it shall hereafter Appear that any last ___ or Testaments (other than a Verbal Codicile hereto annexed) was made by the said deceased And the Executor or Executors therein named do Exhibit th__ unto the said Office makeing Request to have it allowd __ Accordingly of the said Peter Ram__ being thereunto Requested Do render and deliver up the said Letter of Administration (approbation of __ Testament being had and made) unto __ said Office. Then this present Obligation to be Void __ The Condition of this obligation is Such That if the above bounden Peter Rambo - Admin__ and Singular the Goods Chattells Rights and Credits Which were of Madalena Bowerin of Providence Towns__ Do make or Cause to be made a true and perfect Inventory of all and Singular the Goods Chattells Rights ___ have or shall come into the hands possession or knowledge of the said Peter Rambo or into the hands poss___ of any other person or persons for him And the same so made Do exhibit or cause to be exhibited __ Register Generalls Office at Philadelphia at or before the fifteenth day of February next And the ___ Chattells Rights and Credits which were of the said deceased at the time of her death, Or which at any time Thereafter Shall come to the hands possession or knowledge of any other person or persons for him, Do truly Administer according to Law And Further Do make or Cause to be made a true and Just ____ ____ to Stand and Remain in full form and Virtue Sealed and delivered in the presence of Us Edward Dehaven, Casllar Gringer [signed] Peter Rambo, Joseph Kendall, Nicholas Bunn"

The inventory of the estate was short. "An Inventory or Bill of Appraisement taken & Made ye fifth day of January 1753 of all the Effects of Maudlin Bowrin Spinster of Providence ye County of Philada Deceased _ us the Subscribers According to the best of our knowledge Imprimise to wearring Apparrel 2-0-0; to BedSted, Bed and Beding 2-15-0; to an old trunk 0-3-6; to 5 pound flax 0-4-2; to 5 yd and a halfe of Lining 0-13-0; to a Spining weel 0-5-0; to a Bond at Seven ___ by John boars 7-0-0; to a Note and other Depts Due to hur 5-3-0; to Cash 1-19-3; Appraised by us 20-3-8 Richard Jacob, John Schrack" Peter Rambo was executor of the estate.

"Records of Augustus Evangelical Lutheran Church show that the Anna Rambo referred to was the daughter of Peter and Maria Rambo, born 16 Dec. 1749 and baptized 12 Jun 1750, with sponsor being shown as Anna Magdalena Bauerin. (Hist. Soc. Pa. Mo. IL:1, p. 73) Page 245 of the same reference shows the marriage of Peter Rambow [sic] to Mary Peters, daughter of Peter Peters of Providence Twp., on 13 Apr 1748. This Peter Rambo was the son of Peter Rambo of Providence."

The RAMBO FAMILY TREE Preliminary CD. 19 October 2011 Five Volumes: Descendants of Peter Gunnar Rambo On the web and available on CD By Beverly Nelson Rambo and Ronald Stephen Beatty.

Colonial And Revolutionary Families Of Pennsylvania

By John W. Jordan

see Peter Rambo page 1441

Came to America about 1638

•father's surname was Gunner (according to naming custom)

• resided in the Colony of New Sweden from 1639 to his death in 1698

•One of the most prominent of th Swedish Colonists (See account p.92-93 the Dupuy Family also a picture of this house

• 600 acres in Philadelphia (1684) 12 improved; also land in NJ

• popular with Native Americans: ecommended as interpreter tot hem in 1677 to locate lands of English Commisioners in West New Jersey (Barber and Hawes Collections of New Jersey 21); tok active part in the treaty or council with the Indians (New Jersey Archives 1)

• member of Swedish Church at (unclear) probably one of its wardens.

• Sarah Rambo of West Chester (wrote) that Peter G. Rambo, 1st Rambo in America, came from Vasterbotton, Sweden in 1640 and settled in Wilmington and that the Rambo apple was brought from Sweden on the Kalmar Mykel in 1640 by Gunnar Rambo who carried the original saplings, favorite apple of John Chapman (Johnny appleseed) who planted the Rambo on his trips in PA and Indianaas early as 1800. This Rambo apple was regarded by many as the best that ever grew on a tree (info complied by Mary Rogers (Bean) descendant)

compare with this profile: Peter Gunnarson Rambo

many details Peter Gunnarson Rambo of the New Sweden Colony was a long time Magistrate of the Upland Court, Pennsylvania's first governing and judicial body. Rambo served 27 years in various positions under the Swedish, Dutch and English governments.

Under the English he was a Commissioner of the Delaware, a member of the Governor's Council and a Councillor to the Duke of York.

 Revered among the Colonial Swedes and Finns who first settled the Delaware Valley, Peter Rambo was among the welcoming delegation who greeted William Penn when the Great Proprietor landed at Upland, now, Chester, Pa.
 Upon his death in 1698, Peter Rambo was buried among other Swedes next to the log cabin church at Wicaco, now Philadelphia. The funeral service was delived by The Rev. Andreas Rudman, who that year married Peter Rambo's granddaughter, Elizabeth Mattson. 
   When the present Gloria Dei (Old Swedes) Church was built in 1700, Peter Rambo's grave was undisturbed by the construction. However, the structure's weight caused the walls to buldge and north and south porticos were built to strenghten the church structure. It was decided to leave the adjacent old graves intact and build the porch foundation around them. As result, Peter Rambo's grave is within the walls of Gloria Dei Church, as is his fellow Magistrate and kinsman,Peter Larson Cock. For more information about him and others, visit www.ColonialSwedes.Org
view all 17

Peter Gunnarson Rambo's Timeline

June 10, 1611
Kvisljungeby, Västra Götaland County, Sweden
January 6, 1649
Age 37
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
October 19, 1650
Age 39
Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania
October 19, 1650
Age 39
June 17, 1653
Age 42
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, PA, United States
Age 43
Age 46
New Sweden (later Philadelphia, PA)
Age 49
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States