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July 20, 2014

Quaker Meeting Notes

I found this document today on If William really is the son of Joseph and Jedidah Macy Swain then this is an awesome piece of history and proof of birthdates and relatives. Coincidentally my mother's line connects with the Jethro Swain that is also found on this document (his descendants are found in Rush, Indiana).

Here's the transcription:

  • William Swain son of Joseph Swain and Jedidah his wife was born the 8th day of the tenth month in the year 1781.
  • Jethro Swain son of Joseph Swain and Jedidah his wife was born the fifteenth day of the ninth month in the year 1783.
  • Nathaniel Swain 4th day of this 4th month 1781 departed this life.
  • Nathaniel Swain is the son of Elihu Swain and Sarah his wife was born the 29th of the twelfth month 1782 and deceased the 21 - 3rd 1783.
  • John Swain son of Elihu and Sarah Swain was born the 12th 1st 1784.

These documents were accessed on in their U.S. Quaker Meeting Records, 1641-1994.

Ancestry describes Quakers as "members of a religious group that began in England in the 1640s. The formal name is the 'Religious Society of Friends'. Quakers, or Friends have been known for the religious testimonies against war and slavery, and in support of simplicity and social justice."

This brings up another point that might lead us away from our William being the son of Joseph - William would have grown up a Quaker as Joseph's son. The anti-slavery and anti-war sentiment would have been taught and it seems like even if he stopped practicing their beliefs his children surely would have picked up on his views. Since 3 or 4 of his children fought for the confederates it seems unlikely that William was one generation from a Quaker. Stranger things have happened though and it certainly doesn't substantiate proof. Hopefully we'll figure this family out soon!

May 20, 2014

The Grave of Milus Swain

Floydada, Floyd, Texas Cemetery, gravestone of my 3rd great grandfather Milus Swain. memorial is found here where this picture is found: Milus Swain Memorial 

To learn more about what the inscriptions on this headstone mean I've written about it here:

His first wife is buried in the Authon Cemetery in Parker County, Texas. Her memorial is found on here: Margaret Detheridge Swain Memorial

She had six of Milus' seventeen children, the youngest being my great-grandfather.

His second wife, Katherine Stimpson Swain is buried next to him in the 
Floydada Cemetery in Floyd, TX. Her memorial on is here: Katie Swain Memorial

May 19, 2014

Passport of Howes Swain from 1797

"May it please your excellency, 

W Joseph Gaterskill of ___ will wait on your excellency to sollicit a passport from Dover to London for Captain Howes Swain of Nantucket safely arrived from Calais. 

We beg leave to represent Capt Swain to be a native and citizen of the United States of America.

With the greatest respect 
we are yr. excellency's
most obed. ____
Thos Dickason __

____friar, London
Novem 21 1797"

Not sure how this Howes Swain relates to my line, but found this passport application from 1797 and thought it was cool. According to what people have entered into a search for a Howes Swain brings up this individual: 

  • Howes Swain

  • 7 August 1768 – 25 February 1802 (Family Search # KH95-VBQ). He looks to be a descendent (by 5 generations or so) of John Swain, son of Richard Swain of Nantucket.
  • March 10, 2014

    Random William and Mary Swain

    I'm hoping that if I just keep adding information I find about Swains, even if it doesn't apply to my line, I'll be able to sort out all these Swains easier. I'm so glad that my 3great grandpa's name was Milus! Every other Swain in my line is a John William or a William and there are so many other Johns and Williams it's hard to keep everyone straight. Here's a Swain that is very much not a part of my family line, but I thought I'd post it here anyway.

    At the above website there is a William (b1827) and a Mary (b1842) buried at the Old Smithville Burying Ground in Brunswick County, NC.

    Resaerch Needed

    Land Deed to Check out:

     Lincoln Co TN Deed Book G, p.265
     8 Aug 1816 James Downing of LCT to William Swain of Giles
     Co TN 80 acres on waters of Bradshaw Creek.

    An old query I found online included this information. I need to go back and check it out. Interesting that he was "of Giles Co" prior to Lincoln.

    Ansearchin News, Volume 34, Winter 1987 has this information for the Swain surname

    Surname Index: Swain 128 147 148 150 151 152 186 

    McNairy Marriage Record: Susanna Swain m. J.N. Johnson 7 Nov 1861 R.M. Thompson (Officiant)

    Index to Lincoln County, Tennessee County Court Minutes, 1830-1833: SWAIN William 212 278 

    March 7, 2014

    Settlement of Estate Records for the William W. Swain's of McNairy

    Here are two documents that don't give us any new information, necessarily, but they are interesting.

    R.P. Swain was the only son living when William W. Swain Senior died in 1871. R.P. became executor of his will and settlement occured on the 2 day of October 1871.  Although I have record of a will of William W Swain's that was presented in open court, and the names and dates in that will all match up with William's children, this document says that he died, leaving no will. Perhaps his will didn't hold up in court? Not quite sure what that means.

    J.R Swain was not only a witness for this settlement but the settlement of William Swain Jr as well (see below). I believe John R. is the son of William Swain and Rachel Anderson, which adds to the evidence that there is some close family connection between the two.

    It doesn't look like William Swain Jr. left a will either. Here, John R., Mary C. Swain, and W.R. Pyron are all administrators of W.W. Swain's estate. Settlement occured the 4 December 1865.

    February 26, 2014

    Will of Luke Swain in Charleston, SC

    Swain wills in Charleston, SC

    Luke Swain

    "South Carolina Probate Records, Bound Volumes, 1671-1977," images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 27 Feb 2014), Charleston > Wills, 1800-1807, Vol. 028 > image 236 of 403.