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Israel Acrelius Edit Profile


Israel Acrelius was a noted Swedish Lutheran missionary and priest.


Acrelius, Israel was born on December 4, 1714 in Oster-Aker, Sweden. Son of Johan and Sara Acrelius.


Attended U. Upsala (Sweden), 1727-1743.


He served as the pastor of churches in Riala, Sweden starting in 1745. Beginning in 1749, Acrelius took a similar post in Wilmington, Delaware, site of a Swedish Lutheran congregation which dated to the time of the New Sweden colony. At that time, Holy Trinity remained a Swedish Lutheran parish.

Acrelius served simultaneously as both pastor and provost to the Swedish congregations in the area. He learned English and provided aid to German Lutherans in Pennsylvania. He also made notable zoological, botanical, and geological collections.

Because of health concerns, Acrelius returned to Sweden in 1756. The king gave him a large pension, and he received the lucrative pastorate of a church in the parish of Fellingsbro in the province of Västmanland during 1758. Shortly thereafter in 1759, he published his History of New Sweden, which dealt with the religious and secular history of the area.

This book was translated into English in 1874.


  • Other Work

    • Author: History of New Sweden (treats of ecclesiastical matters, general history of area under Swedish, Dutch and English control), 1759.


Married Katarina Elisabet Strangh, 1759.

Johan Acrelius

Sara Acrelius

Katarina Elisabet Strangh