My research has shown that Jacobus Seth was most likely not from Sweden or the Netherlands. Jacobus Seth's great great grandson, Dr. James Seth born in 1843 in Talbot County gives his bio as the following he lays out his lineage (which is spot on according to my records of wills and probates) and states his grandfather James "Jas" Seth the 3rd was a decendent of Jacobus Seth and that "Jacobus Seth was from Scotland in olden day". This was obviouly passed down to him and I trust the information is correct.
The belief that Jacobus Seth was Dutch comes from his short stay in Delaware around 1678 at the time this was a settlement that was occupied predominately by Dutch and Swedes. Jacobus Seth ended up in Delaware due to his service in the English government.
Here is the timeline for Jacobus Seth first he is documented in Maryland around 1673 with his first wife Margaret (unk last). They are both granted land in Maryland for Service. Which meant they probably arrived in Maryland around 1669. Four years was the normal term for service in those days. A person was transported to the colony and had to work for a period of 3 to 4 years and at the end of the service they were granted 50 acres each. Both Jacob Seth and Margaret were granted 50 acres each in 1673 in Maryland.
In 1678 or so the English govenor of New York grants Jacob Seth 500 acres in the Lewes area of Delaware for his service in Capt Edmund Cantwell's company. Edmund Cantwell was the English appointed Sheriff of New Castle County in Delaware when the English siezed the colony from the Dutch in the mid 1670's.
It appears Jacob Seth was a solder or mercanary for the English during the Dutch-English wars of the 1670's when Delaware and New York switched hands a number of times between the Dutch and the English. Jacob could not have been Dutch if he was fighting against the Dutch settlers in the region.
Around 1679 or so Jacob moves back to Maryland and marries Barbara Beckwith his second wife. In some texts it states Jacobus was from Delaware due to this move from Deleware back to Maryland. This led some genealogists to assume Jacobus was Dutch or Swedish because he had lived in Lewes Delaware and had migrated to Maryland. But in fact he was first in Maryland a English Colony as early as 1669 and only moved to Lewes Delaware due to a land grant from the English Government for his service in the Army under Capt Cantwell. He then moved back to Maryland shortly there after.
The mistake has been passed down due to the understanding that Jacobus Seth was from Delaware where most of the residents at the time were either Dutch or Swedish. But a close study of the timeline and documents reveal he was a Maryland settler first. A dead give away as well is he was Catholic. There were almost no Dutch or Swedish Catholics in the Colonies at this time all were protestant and all the Dutch and Swedish Churches in Delaware were Protestant not Catholic.
A in depth study of the surname Seth also has revealed it began in Eastern Scotland in the Fife district of Scotland as early as the 1300's. Seth is a sept of the Shaw Clan. During the late 1500s and into the mid 1600's thousands of Scots fled Scotland to work as mercanaries for European countries during the religious wars of the 1600's to include the 30 year war, which I believe started in 1630. It is estimated that 30,000 Scots were employed by the Swedish King alone during the 30 year war that raged in Europe. During this time period the Seth surname spread to Sweden, Germany, Holland, Prussia, and even Poland. This is how the Seth name spread from Scotland to these other countries. A Seth in Sweden was even given a coat of arms in the mid 1600's. Most likely a mercanary rewarded for his battle field accomplishments. If you run the name Seth in any database it will give you two ethnic options Scotish or Irish. And the only reason it give you Irish is because of the mass migration during the 1600's from Scotland to Ireland due to the nobles moving protestant Scots to Ireland to push out the Catholics. This is where the term Scotch Irish comes from in reference to the Ulter Scots that settled in the Ulster are of Ireland during the late 1600's and early 1700's.
Seth is a Scottish Surname and is originated in the Fife disrict of NE Scotland. Seth or Seath surnames are very concentrated in this area and it is said that the Seths or Seaths or a variation of the surname Shaw. That is why the Seaths or Seths or part of the Shaw clan.
Jacobus Seth did not start going by Jacobus until around 1684 or so. Before that in every record from 1673 forward to 1684 he is known as simply Jacob Seth. In 1688 King James the Catholic King of England and Scotland was rebelled against and King William and Mary from the Netherlands took his place. King James followers were called Jacobites. Many Catholic supporters of King James took the name Jacobus. This might be why Jacob Seth took the name Jacobus. He was a devout Catholic and most likely a strong supporter of King James.
Jacob could have been of mixed ethnicity due to his first name and the fact he was naturalized in 1684, but his father or his paternal line was certainly Scottish. There is no doubt in my mind with the research I have done. His mother could have been something other than Scottish. We will probably never know that.
I have never seen any documentation that Jacobus was Dutch or Swedish and I have poured through the records at the Maryland State Archives. I guess genealogist that came before us assumed he was Dutch or Swedish due to the fact that the Catholic Church thought he was from Lewes, Delaware a prodominately Dutch and Swedish area. When in fact he was first from Maryland and only went to Lewes Delaware for a land grant given to him for his service in the English Colonial Government under Capt. Edmund Cantwell's company.