Trails To The Past - Delaware






Before the European settlers arrived to North America, the land Before the European settlers arrived to North America, the land we now know as part of Delaware was settled by the Unami Lenape tribe (also known as Delaware tribe). This was an Eastern Algonquin tribe which lived along the Delaware valley and the Nanticoke and other rivers leading to the Chesapeake Bay. This tribe was closely related to the Munsee Lenape which lived along the Hudson River. The Delaware had a settled hunting and agricultural society. When fur trading became frantic, they became middlemen in the trade with their natural rivals the Susquehannock tribe. In the 1670s, the Iroquois destroyed the Susquehannock, clearing the way for the Lenape to move over the Allegheny mountains.

In 1631, the Dutch established the first European settlement called Zwaanendael, near present-day Lewes. Settlers in the area were killed within a year in a dispute with local tribes. In 1638, Fort Christina (Wilmington) was established by a group of Swedes as part of New Sweden. The Dutch established a fort at present-day New Castle in 1651 and in 1655, they conquered New Sweden, incorporating it into New Netherland. In 1664, England conquored New Netherland, under the direction of James, Duke of York. Delaware was then leased to William Penn and for the next century, Pennsylvania and Delaware were one colony. Even after the division into two colonies, they shared a governor.

Delaware was the first state to ratify the Declaration of Independence on 7 Dec 1787. Pennsylvania followed next.

Delaware is bordered by New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland.


Delaware Historical Society

Delaware Genealogical Society

Downstate Delaware Genealogical Society

Lower Delmarva Genealogical Society

Edward H, Nabb Research Center

Sussex County Genealogical Society

Valley Forge Muster Roll

The News Journal

Historical Landmarks

Find A Grave

Family Group Sheets

Cyndi's List

Mailing Lists

William H. "Bill" Morgan (obituary)



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