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July 20, 2015

W.A. Swain of Manlyville, Henry County, Tennessee

These are the stories you hope to find about your relatives. This one isn't a story about one of mine (that I know of), but it's worth sharing anyway. 

This story was written in the Nashville Union and Dispatch (Nashville, Tenn) on October 27, 1867 and can be found at this link: 

This is what's said: 
"On Thursday, September 26, while Mr. W.A. Swain, of Manlyville, Henry County, Tenn was drawing a bucket of water from a well sixty feet deep, with ten feet water, his little son Henry, an interesting child of three summers, was suddenly precipitated into the well, in which as is sometimes the case, two buckets are used. The child, it is thought, impressed with the idea of assisting his father, had, unnoticed, taken hold of the descending rope, and was thus instantly jerked over the curbing of the well. The first intimation Mr. Swain had of the casualty was seeing the child falling head foremost and striking against the bucket. 

The feelings of the parents may well be imagined. There was no time for reflection. The peril of the child called for prompt, heroic action. In a moment, quick as thought, Mr. Swain seizes the well rope, and follows his child, determined to save him or share his watery bed. In another moment, he finds his child, convulsively presses him to his bosom, and rises with feelings of triumphant joy to the surface of the water. Here he sustains himself till preparations are made for raising him securely out of the wall. This was soon and safely done. The child suffered no injuries other than a few bruises, and when brought to the surface of the water, with great coolness and presence of mind he inquired for his hat, which he had lost in the fall. We dare say that such an occurrence with similar gratifying results, has no parallel."




February 20, 2015

Revolutionary War Land Grants in McNairy, Tennessee

All these random Swain posts I'm hoping will someday help me. I'm definitely in an information gathering phase, clamoring to find any sort of lead that might help me figure out my family. My thought is all this information may help me sort out the Swains in Tennessee and shed further light on my family.

Last weekend I went to the Rootstech and FGS conference in Salt Lake. I couldn't leave a family history conference without at least spending a few hours at the Family History Library. These land grants of Swains were in McNairy, TN and although they are spelled differently they could provide a little more information.

Be it noted that these are transcriptions and I have not seen the actual record:

NO 1797 Joseph Swane -- assignee of James Keith by virtue of entry warrant NO 1647 dated Sept 22th 1824 for 15 acres of land from the register of east Tennessee enters the same in the 9th district 4th range & 4th section beginning 34 poles west & 154 poles south of north east corner of said section running south 69 poles and east for complement. April 25th 1825. B. Wright, Loc

NO 1802 John Swane -- assignee for Andrew Brown by virtue of register of west Tennessee warrant NO 6710 for 8 acres of land enters the same 9th district 4th range and 4th section beginning 132 poles east & 12 poles south of the south east corner of a 15 acres entry NO 1801 entered in the name of John Swane runs east 46 poles and south for complement. -- April 25th 1825

From the Book Occupant and Revolutionary War Land Grants and Claims Starting with 1824; Compiled by Barbara Sanford Guess. FHL Library US/CAN 976.829 R2g

February 18, 2015

Deed of Sale for William W. Swain Sr.

I found this deed transcript as I was doing some research at the Family History Library over the weekend:
McNairy County Deed Book A pp 242 & 243.

State of Tennessee
McNairy County:
Know all men by these presents that I John Williams for the sum of $40.45 to me in hand paid by William Swain of Henderson county the receipt is hereby acknowledged have sold (p.243) unto said William Swain the here named to wit 1 horse & saddle 1 sow & calf 5 head of hogs 1 plow and farming gearr 1 chopping axe & 3 weeding hoes 1 cotton wheel 2 feather beds and furniture one pot oven and skillet 1 iron shovell 1 looking glass 1 dining table 1 dish & 2 pitchers 1 check reel waving loom five head of ___ in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this January 31st 1834.                                                                             John Williams (Seal)
Test Francis Beard 
A. Brown

State of Tennessee
McNairy County: 
Personally appeared before me Maelis Cross clerk of the circuit court Francis Beard a subscribing witness to the within bill of sale from John Williams to William Swain and said witness after being duly sworn saith that he saw the assignor sign the same as heard him acknowledge the same to be his set and deed given under my hand at office this March 25th 1834. 
                                                                                       Maelis Cross clerk


A few things strike me as interesting regarding this deed. I'd really like to find the original record. The first thing I find interesting is how much stuff he is buying! I'd imagine this would be normal if he was moving counties or changing residences, but in 1834, when this deed is dated, he had been living in Henderson already for 6 years and would not be relocating to McNairy for another 6. All of his children were also already born, the youngest being around 8. Of course it is possible that William could have built a new residence and needed more furniture and wanted to increase the number of his livestock, but it just seems like there must have been some other catalyst to purchase this many items. 

This deed also makes me wonder who this John Williams is. Obviously, where William is a resident of Henderson and John is a resident of McNairy there would have to be some previous relationship between the two of them - either family or an old neighbor or childhood friend. 

The only other notable event that was happening around this time [that I know of] was the marriages of some of William's children. Several of his children had been married between 1828-1834 and I believe Edwin, his first born son, was actually married in 1834. I suppose parents of that age could have been like parents of today, helping their children get the start they need as they begin their own family life.

Anyway, this document is interesting both for what he is buying and when he is buying it. It gives us some clues to continue our search and increase our information about William Swain of Lincoln and Henderson and McNairy counties of Tennessee.

February 10, 2015

Swains in the War of 1812

As I was researching the Swains who fought in the War of 1812 today I came across this:

Swain,Joshua, “1814 Nov. 17,” The War of 1812 in the Collections of the Lilly Library, accessed January 29, 2015, http://collections.libraries.iub.edu/warof1812/items/show/1788

"Camp at Billingsport Novr 17th 1814
To the Quarter Guard you are hereby directed to keep the following named persons on the following charges until regularly discharged agreeable to the sentence of a court martial to wit.
Samuel  Warrick for desertion from Camp Novr 5th
John Conover for desertion same date
                                            Joshua Swain - Captain"


So what Swains actually fought in the War of 1812? Normal online searches for war records are always a little overwhelming for me. I never know if I'm looking at the same record over and over again or if they are actually different enlistments. I found on familysearch.org a database of all the enlistments for the War, arranged alphabetically by surname. I added the Swaims and the Swaine's although I wonder if I should be adding Swans or McSwains too as a few times these names get interchanged. This database can be found here:

Swaim, Benjamin, Sergeant; Richmond County Battalion (Conner's), New York Militia. 
Swaim, Elias, Private; Major Andruss' Detachment (1812), New Jersey Militia. 
Swaim, Elias, Private (originally filed under Swain, Elias); 2nd reg't Artillery, US Vols. (from New York) (Col. Samuel Hawkins)
Swaim, Jacob C., Private, Sergeant (originally filed under Swain, Jacob C); 1 Reg't Art'y (Sticher's), New York Vols. 
Swaim, Jacob C., Private; 2 Regiment (Mapes'), New York Militia.
Swaim, John, Private; 7 Reg't (Pearson's). North Carolina Mil. Image 
Swaim, Joseph, Private, Corporal; 1 Reg't (MacArthur's), Ohio Vols. and Mil. Image 
Swaim, Marshal, Private; Richmond County Battalion (Conner's). New York Militia. Image 
Swaim, Michael, 2 Luitenant) 7 Reg't (Pearson's) North Carolina Mil.
Swaim, Mortimus, Private;  Richmond County Battalion (Conner's). New York Militia. Image 
Swaim, William, 1 Leutinant, Captain; 3 Artillery Regiment. New York.
Swaime, Elias, Private (original filed under Swaine, Elias) ; 2nd Reg't Artillery, U.S. Vols.

Swain, Anson, Private; 121 Reg't (Stewart's), New York Militia. Image 460
Swain, Anthon, Private; 121 Reg't (Stewart's), New York Militia. Image 461
Swain, Benjamin, Boatswain; Sea Fencibles, United States Volunteers Image 462
Swain, Benjamin, Private, 2 Reg't (Patterson's) Pennsylvania Mil. Image 463
Swain, Calvin, Chaplain, 121 Reg't (Stewart's), New York Militia. Image 464. 
See "Brooklyn's Founder" for more information on Calvin Swain
Swain, Charles E, Private (see also James Gee), 6 Reg't (Sharp's) Virginia Militia
Swain, Charles W, Sergeant; Detachment Art'y (Bleecker's), New York (See also Charles W. Swaine)
Swain, Charles W. Sergeant; 3 Artillery Regiment, New York (See also Detachment Arty. (Bleeker's) N.Y.
Swain, Dudley L. Private, 2 Reg't (Waugh, Jr's) Massachussets Mil. Image 468
Swain, Elias, Private (see also Swaim, Elias); Major Andruss' Detachment (1812). New Jersey Militia. Image 469
Swain, Elias, Private, 1 Reg't (Dodd's) New Jersey Militia. image 470
Swain, Elias, Private, 3 Regiment U.S. Volunteers (From New York) (Lieut Col Alexander Denniston)
Swain, Elican, Private, 1 Reg't (Flower's) North Carolina Militia (See also Swaine, Elican)
Swain, Elyme, Private (original filed under Swain, Ezra), 121 Reg't (Stewart's), New York Militia. image 473
Swain, Ezra, Private. 121 Reg't (Stewart's), New York Militia. image 474
Swain, George, Private; Major King's Detachment, District of Columbia Militia. Image 475
Swain, Henry, Private; 10 Regiment (Barbour's), Mounted, Kentucky Vols. Image 476
Swain, Henry, Lieutenant; 17 Reg't (Beall's) Maryland Militia Image 477
Swain, Hiram, Sergeant; 2 Reg't  (Patterson's) Pennsylvania Mil.
Swain, Horace, Private; 16 Reg't (Stranahan's), New York Militia
Swain, Horace, Private; 18 Reg't (Dobbin's). New York Militia
Swain, Isaac; Thompson's Detachment, Pennsylvania Miliita
Swain, Isaiah, Drummer; Read's Battalion New Jersey Militia
Swain, Isaiah, Private; 4 Reg't (Washburn's) Massachussetts Mil.
Swain, Jacob, Private (Original filed under Swan, Jacob); Abraham's Reg't New Jersey Militia (Image 484)
Swain, Jacob, Private; Steven's Batt'n, New York Vols. and Mil. Image 485 & 486
Swain, Jacob, Corporal, 1 Reg't (Laight's), New York Militia
Swain, Jacob, Private; 6 Reg't (Merrill's) Massachussetts Militia
Swain, Jacob C., Private, Sergeant; 1 Reg't Art'y (Sitcher's), New York Vols
Swain, James, Lieutenant; Brunswick Reg't (Moore's) North Carolina Militia
Swain, James, Private; Col Claiborne's Reg't Mississippi Militia
Swain, James, Private; Youngblood's Reg't South Carolina Mil. Image 493
Swain, James, Private; 1 Reg't (Flower's) North Carolina Militia (See also James Swaine)
Swain, James, Private; 10 Reg't (Boswell's) Kentucky Militia
Swain, Jeremiah, Private; 1 Reg't (Fisk's) New Hampshire Militia
Swain, Jeremiah, Private; 3 Reg't (Dickinson's) Virginia Militia
Swain, Jeremiah, Private; 3 Reg't (Pew's), Georgia Militia
Swain, Jeremiah, Private; 5 Reg't Virginia Militia
Swain, Jesse, Private; Youngblood's Reg't South Carolina Mil. Image 499
Swain, Jesse, Private; 1 Reg't (Flower's) North Carolina Militia
Swain, Jesse, Private; 3 Reg't Sise's New Hampshire Militia
Swain, John, Seaman; Batt'n Sea Fencibles (Leonard's), New York (record of payroll on ancestry.com) This ancestry 
              record states that this John Swain was borne as Swan and that he was discharged on 2 Nov 1814. He was in 
              service at  Fort Diamond, N.T. and paid from 10 Sep 1814-2 Nov 1814

Swain, John, Private; Brunswick Reg't (Moore's) North Carolina Militia
Swain, John Jr., Private; Waldron's Command, New Hampshire Mil
Swain, John, Lieutenant; Captain Willis' Company, Delaware
Swain, John, Private; 1 Reg't (Dodge's), New York Militia (See also Cromeline, Armond)
Swain, John, Private; 2 Regiment (Swift's) New York Militia
Swain, John, Sergeant; 2 Regiment (Zumalt's) Ohio Militia
Swain, John, Private; 51 Reg't (Amey's), Maryland Militia
Swain, John Jr., Private; 121Reg't (Stewart's), New York Militia (record of payroll on ancestry.com)
Swain, John C., Hospital Attendants, Vermont
Swain, John S., Private; 17 Reg't (Beall's) Maryland Militia
Swain, Joseph, Private; 1 Reg't (McArthur's), Ohio Vols. and Mil.
Swain, Joseph, ----; 9 Reg't (1813) Delaware Militia
*Swain, Joshua, Captain; Howell's Regiment New Jersey Militia (See record above)
Swain, Joshua, Private; 1 Reg't (Flower's) North Carolina Militia
Swain, Joseph, Private; 1 Reg't (Taylor's) Virginia Militia
Swain, Josiah R, Private; 3 Reg't (Pew's) Georgia Militia
Swain, Levi, Private; Major Lillington's Detachment, North Carolina Militia
Swain, Matthias, Corporal; 2 Reg't (Seward's) New Jersey Militia 
Swain, Nathaniel, Private; Brimblecom's Reg't Massachussetts Mil.
Swain, Orlando, Private; Prior's Regiment, New York Militia
Swain, Paris, Private; Capt Stone Co. Cavalry, New York
Swain, Paris, Private; Swift's and Dobbin's Regiment (1814), New York Vols
Swain, Paris, Private; Cavalry Reg't (Willcock's), New York
Swain, Paris, Private; 12 Reg't Cavalry (Boughton's) New York Militia
Swain, Peter, Matross; Batt'n Art'y (Duscomb's), New York . (War of 1812)
Swain, Peter, Private; 1 Regiment (Dodge's), New York Militia
Swain, Richard, Private; 76 Reg't (Tucker's) New York Militia
Swain, Richard, Private; 76 Reg't (Tuttle's) New York Militia
Swain, Robert, Private; Consolidated Art'y and Infantry Reg't. New York Militia
Swain, Robert, Private; Captain Willis' Company, Delaware
Swain, Samuel, __; Keys' Regiment, Ohio Militia
Swain, Simeon, Private; 1 Reg't (Flower's) North Carolina Militia
Swain, Stephen, Private; 1 Reg't  (Flower's) North Carolina Militia
Swain, Sterling, Private; 4 Regiment (Booth's) Georgia Militia
Swain, Thomas, Waiter; 1 Brigade (McCobb's) Massachusset's Mil
Swain, Thomas, ___; 6 Reg't (Coleman's, January-May 1814), Virginia Militia. See also U.S. Service
Swain, Walter, Private, Sergeant; 2 Reg't (Snow's) Massachussetts Militia
Swain, William, Matross; Fleming's Detachment, New York Vols and Militia
Swain, William, Sergeant; 1 Reg't (Flower's) North Carolina Militia
Swain, William, Private; 1 Reg't (Flower's) North Carolina Militia
Swain, William, Private; 1 Regiment Rifleman (Humphrey's), Pennsylvania Militia (Original filed under McSwain, William)
Swain, William, Private; 9 Reg't (1813) Delaware Militia
Swain, William, Private; 10 Reg't (Boswell's) Kentucky Militia
Swain, William, Private; 17 Regiment (Beall's) Maryland Militia
Swain, William M, Private; 1 Regiment Rifleman (Humphrey's) Pennsylvania Militia (Original filed under McSwain, William)

Swaine, Jeremiah, Private; 4 Regiment Virginia Militia (Lieut Col. Lucas. Major Wills) (See also Swane, Jeremiah)
Swaine, John, Private; Battalion of Art'y (1813-1814), Virginia Mil
Swaine, Joshua, Private; 1 Reg't (Flower's) North Carolina Militia (See also Swain, Joshua)
Swaine, Levi, Private, Major Lillington's Detachment, North Carolina Militia (original filed under Swain, Levi)
Swaine, Simeon, Private; 1 Reg't (Flower's) North Carolina Militia (original under Swain, Simeon)
Swaine, William, Sergeant; 1 Reg't (Flower's) North Carolina Militia (original filed under Swain, William)
Swaine, William, Private; 1 Reg't (Flower's) North Carolina Militia (original filed under Swain, William)


I was hoping to find some of my Swain family members within the enlistment records; but alas, I could find no such connections without more research. I held the most hope in Tennessee and Georgia records but all 10 enlistments in Tennessee were of men with the last name of SWAN, and in Georgia only 3 of the 10 were SWAIN. It is interesting grouping the enlistments of all Swans, Swains and Swaims by state and regiment and seeing what individuals fought together. It makes you wonder if they were brothers who fought together or close relatives.

Along with listing the enlistments here in this post, I also made spreadsheet of the Swain and Swan names. On the fourth page of the spreadsheet you can see the Swains listed by state. If any of these Swains are your relatives email me. I'm curious to know whether they fought with their siblings, cousins, or other relation.

  Detailed Spreadsheat of Swains in War of 1812






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.