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October 5, 2014

The Detherages and Swains

Found this marriage record today of Margaret Detherage Swain's brother, J.M. Detherage. Guess who witnessed the marriage? . . . His brother-in-law, and my great-great grandpa, Milus Swain! This Detherage family was a brick wall for me for such a long time. I finally found a website that helped me link my great-great grandma, Margaret to her parents and siblings, but it was all circumstantial evidence. This is the first record I've seen that links her family with the Swains and verifies the connection between the two families.

 Although I felt confident in the relationship I had put together previously, this documents puts my mind at ease and provides concrete support that Margaret Deatherage, the sister of J.M. Deatherage, and the child of J.M. Deatherage is the Margaret Deatherage who married Milus Swain, my great-great grandfather.

August 12, 2014

Picture of John William "Wiley" Swain b 1893

I realized that while I had this picture posted on my other blog I hadn't posted it here. It's nice to have all the important things about one family in one place.

This picture is of Milus Swain, his wife Kate, and their children. I'm guessing it's taken circa 1905. My great-grandfather John Swain, b 1893 is the little boy (and only one I think) in the picture. His older sisters are to the left of him, and his half sisters are to the right. In 1905 John would have been about 12. To me the little boy in this picture looks like he could pass as a 12 year old - be it a small one. John was just two when his mother, Margaret, passed away. His father remarried Kate in 1897 and Kate's mother (also in the picture) lived with them for over a decade. In 1905 Kate would have been pregnant with her first son.

As a note, I only have record of Kate and Milus having four little girls before their first little boy. The child in Milus' arms could have been their first boy Harvey LeRoy but if that's the case then this picture would have been taken circa 1908, making John 15. In this picture he doesn't look to me to be 15 yet. However, in 1908 one of John's older sisters died which could explain why only three of his sisters are in the picture when four or five (if it was taken in 1905) were still living at home. If this picture was taken in 1905 then I only have record of four little girls being born before Harvey LeRoy and five are pictured. One of their daughters could have been born and died between the censuses of 1900 and 1910.

July 26, 2014

Georgia Headright and Bounty Land Records, 1783-

I came across a record a few days ago that showed a James Swain was given land in 1784 in Franklin County, GA. This rang a bell for me, as the William and John Swain we find in McNairy in the 1830s and 1840s were in Franklin, GA around 1806-1808. Both were on tax records there and I have found William's marriage record in Franklin, GA in 1808.

I wanted to learn more about what heads of families were given land in Georgia so I went to this collection on Family Search: Georgia Headright and Bounty Land Records, 1783-1909 . This is what I found (the Swain files start on image 97).

1) Darling Swain, Emmanuel County, GA, 900 acres, April 1853 (witnessed by Eld Swain)
    Darling Swain, Emmanuel County, GA, 550 acres, Jan 1848
2) Eldread Swain, Emmanuel County, GA, 1000 acres "where Canneth Swain lived", Jan 1836
3) George Swain, Jackson County, GA, 650 acres, July 1859
4) Stephen Swain, Emmanuel County, GA, 200 acres, May 1818
      200 acres, "where Sherod Swain now lives", June 1798
      400 acres, May 1818
5) William Swain, Emmanuel County, GA, 200 acres, Feb 1851
      Glynn County, GA 250 acres, 3 Nov 1795
      Glynn County, GA 200 acres 8 Nov 1795
6) James Swan, Franklin, GA, 287 acres, May 1784, bounty land
7) John Swan, Franklin, GA, 150 acres, June 1796, headright
8) Equilla Swan, Wilkes, GA, 100 acres, May 1787

Unfortuantely, the James Swain I was looking for was a James Swan. His file was still interesting as it had this little bit of information about him.

John Swan's file was of note as his name was written in one place as "Swane'. 1796 was the year William is recorded to have moved to Georgia as well.

Alas, we keep looking and hoping that we'll stumble across the right information that may lead us to the right parents of William Swain.

July 24, 2014

Swains near Franklin, GA

I did a detailed search on for the last name "Swain" in and around Franklin, GA circa 1800. These are the results I found:

John Swain (Jno.), Tax Digest, 1805, Captain Griffith District, Franklin, GA
John Swain (Jno.), Tax Digest, 1806, Captain Cornehuses District, Franklin, GA
William Swain, Tax Digest, 1806, Captain Cornehuses District, Franklin, GA
John Swain, Tax Digest, 1807, p 97, Franklin, GA
William Swain, Tax Digest, 1808, Captain Carsons District, Franklin, GA, p34
John Swain, Tax Digest, 1808, p48, p53, Franklin, GA

John Swain, Tax Digest, 1809, Captain Nehemiah Garrison's District, Jackson, GA

1880 Census in Gordon, GA
        Jessie Swain age 84. Born in South Carolina. Father born in Ireland.
1880 Census in Union, GA
        Enoch Swain age 79, Born in North Carolina. Father born in North Carolina

Georgia's Roster of the Revolution: Containing a List of the States ...

 By Lucian Lamar Knight
SWAIN, JAMES. 287% acres, Franklin Co., bounded N. Edw. Upton, other sides vacant, on Barber s creek, survey 15. Jan. 5, 1785, p. 8.

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.
and then I found more: 

Elizabeth Swain  6 12th mth 1787
Thomas Swain 6 7th mth 1790
Anna Swain 30 1st mth 1793
Mary Swain 16 4th mth 1795
Lydia Swain 6 3rd mth 1797
Sarah Swain 7 9th mth 1799
Joseph Swain 19 12th 1802

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.