CLERCK, ALEXANDER [SSNE 4158]
Alexander Clerck was in Swedish naval service between 1637-1658 (though possibly there were several men of the same name). One served as "konstapelsmatt" in 1638. Another, perhaps the same man, "Sander Clerck från Skottlandt" appears in a register of individuals aboard the Kalmar Nyckel during its voyage to New Sweden in 1643. He was one of twenty-two common sailors hired in Stockholm for the voyage. The ship departed from Gothenburg on 29 December 1643 and likely arrived in the Delaware River Valley around March 1644. The vessel then sailed to the Caribbean, where it received a lading of tobacco in St Kitts. The return voyage went through Dover, England and the vessel was then stopped by Dutch authorities in Friesland. This Sander Clerck finally returned to Sweden in June 1645 and was in Stockholm when he was paid for his services.
Several years later, Alexander Clerck was appointed under lieutenant on 29 March 1652, and in July 1654 he became captain. Captain Alexander Clerck appears in the 'kammarsratten' records for 1656-7, involving a case against Elln Melis, widow of the late George Gardner. He also appears in the Ianus regius for 1658, the year he drowned. (“Alexander Klärk drunknadt aff skieppet Hööken denn 19. Augustij 1658”). We know little of his wife other than that her name was Isabella.
Sources: Krigsarkivet, Flottans arkiv. Rullor på amiralitetsstaterna. Stockholm och Karlskrona, Serie I a, 1642-1724/1/ - Mantalsrullor. Militär och civilstaten, 1642-1664.
Biografiska Anteckningar om Officerare vid Orlogsflottan 1600-1699,p.106.
For his wife's name see Swedish Krigsarkiv, Svenska Sjöofficerare vol. ii, Biografiska anteckningar om officerare anställda vid örlogsflottan åren 1600-1699, unpublished typescript. Section 'Namnregister över kvinnor', p.30 (marginalia).
Curt Haij, 'Skottar i Stockholm under 1600-talet', unpublished list of names, Hintze biblioteket, Genealogiska Föreningen, Sundbyberg, Stockholm.
For the reference to Kalmar Nyckel see Sten Carlsson, “Three Swedish Expeditions to North America, 1642-1649,” Swedish American Genealogist 8, no. 1 (March 1988), pp. 4-7, 23. We thank Dr Joseph Wagner for this reference.
This record was kindly updated by Hielke van Nieuwenhuize and Ardis Dreisbach Grosjean.
- SWEDEN, NAVY
- Arrived 1637-01-01, as KONSTAPELSMATT
- Departed 1658-08-19, as CAPTAIN
- Capacity OFFICER, purpose NAVAL
- SWEDEN, NEW SWEDEN, NYA SVERIGE, DELAWARE
- Arrived 1643-12-29
- Departed 1645-06-30
- Capacity SAILOR, purpose NAVAL