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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.

County map of Southern States

For Future Reference as I research my Swain Family. Note how close Abbeville is to Franklin, GA.

Will of John Swain of Abbeville District, South Carolina

Will of John Swain of Abbeville District, written 7 Mar 1821. proved 7 Sep 1823 :

Actual record on left. Transcription below:

State of South Carolina Abbeville District In the name of God Amen. I John Swain calling to mind that it is appointed for all men once to die: being in a weak and low condition but of sound mind and memory do constitute and ordain this to be my last will and testament making null and void all others. First, I commit my soul to God who gave it and my body to be decently buried by my Executor. Second my will and desire is that my worldly goods be disposed of in manners following after the payment of all my just debts and of my estate. I will give and bequeath to my loving wife, Ann Swain: the plantation whereon I now live and all lands I possess to have and enjoy during her natural life reserving to my children: James Swain, Jane Swain, Jesse Swain, Nancy Swain, John Swain, Mary Swain, William Swain, Peggy Swain: the __ of living with her and cultivate the soil for their support until they or either of them marry or come of age __ such longer time as may be convenient for them or either of them and my beloved wife. I also give and bequeath to my beloved wife all the household and kitchen furniture stock of every kind and plantation tools during her natural life or until my youngest child Peggy Swain is eighteen years of age in case my wife is living when my youngest child is eighteen years of age my will is that the household and kitchen furniture stock and plantation tools be divided by appraisment between my wife and all of my children including my daughter Betsey Smith, my wife having one-third. I give unto my beloved wife four negros (to wit) Will, Cuffee, Milly & Eliza for and during the natural life of my beloved wife Anna Swain. My will and desire is that at the death of my wife all the property both real and personal that is hereby given to my beloved wife, return to and be considered as part of my estate and be divided amongst all my children either by appraisment or sale in case of the sale of the land. I do hereby authorize my executor to make titles thereto. Third, my will and desire is that after my decease my remaining negros Strother, Fillis, Rachel, Isaac, Manuel, Caroline, Malinda, Amy, _____ receive their increase if any be appraised and divided by lot between all my children James Swain, Betsey Smith, Jane Swain, Jesse Swain, Nancy Swain, Mary Swain, John Swain, William Swain, and Peggy Swain all the lots to be made equal by paying the difference of value in money. Lastly, I do hereby consistute and appoint my two sons Jesse Swain and John Swain my executors to carry this my last will and testament into execution. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this seventh day of March one thousand eight and twenty one in the presence of:
John Weatherall
Robert Swain
William Hodges

John Swain

The above will was proven by the oaths of Robert Swain and William Hodges on the seventh day of September 1823 and Jesse Swain one of the executors therein named was qualified before.

Citation: "South Carolina Probate Records, Bound Volumes, 1671-1977," images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 Feb 2014), Abbeville > Wills, 1815-1837, Vol. 02 > image 98 of 236.

My research notes: Two of the witnesses of this will are the same as the will of Robert Swain (previous post). The other witness is a Robert Swain, John's brother, i presume

This website shares a photo of john swain's tombstone. The inscription reads December 25, 1759- August 31, 1823 which would make him 64 when he died, and about 15 years older than his brother, Robert.

Will of Robert Swain of Abbeville, SC

This will may have nothing to do with my Swain line but I'm beginning to wonder if our Swains go through these Abbeville, SC Swains rather than the Nantucket Swains. I found this will as I was looking for documents on other swains and thought I'd share an original record ( I love looking at original records!).

This is the will of Robert Swain of Abbeville, SC written the 2 October 1812 and proved and recorded the 16 November 1812.

Robert Swain bequeaths:
  • Item: to son John Swain one hundred ten acres of land being the place or plantation whereon he now lives to him and his heirs:
  • Item: to daughter Jane Norris - one bay horse, one young cow to her and her heirs.
  • Item: to daughter Mary Swain -  Negro woman named Pat, Negro boy named Allen, Negro boy named Cyrus, and chestnut __ horse to her and her heirs forever.
  • Item: to son Robert Swain - plantation where I now live containing 165 acres or the remainder of the whole tract after the 110 acres already willed to John Swain. One negro man named Tom, one negro boy named Adam, one black horse and one gray horse, to him and his heirs forever.
  • Item: to daughter Elizabeth Reeves - tract of land containing 312 acres in Pendleton District on a branch of Barker's Creek land I purchased from Richard Sadler, one negro boy named George, two cows, to her and her heirs forever.
  • Plantation tools willed to Robert Swain
  • Everything else not mentioned specifically divided equally between Robert Swain and Mary Swain
  • Mary Swain to stay in home with Robert Swain and negro girl named Fanney

Executors: John Swain and Robert Swain
Witnesses: John Weatherall, William Richey, William Hodges

Citation for will: "South Carolina Probate Records, Bound Volumes, 1671-1977," images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 Feb 2014), Abbeville > Wills, 1787-1815, Vol. 01 > image 239 of 257.

This is the will of Nancy Swain, wife of Robert Swain who was willed 165 acres in his father, Robert Swain's will. The next page of this will was not scanned in the FamilySearch database. It goes from page 497 and the next image is 500-501.

Also: son, Robert Swain and wife Nancy (making this connection because in the will of Nancy Swain (above) she says that her estate consists of two slaves, one named Fanny) are buried at the Old Greenville Presbyterian Church Link to Inscriptions at Old Greenville Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Swain, Mrs. Nancy, wife of Robert Swain, died Apr. 17, 1855. Age about 65 yrs.
Swain, Robert, died Apr. 4, 1854. Aged upwards of 80 yrs.

This means that Robert Swain, son of Robert Swain of the above will was born around 1874. He would have been about 35 years old when his father died.

My thoughts for my research: It seems like a family who is divided by the civil war would be more likely to have lived in the south for a significant amount of time rather than have just moved into the south one generation earlier. Many researchers on my Swain family say that William W. Swain is the son of Joseph Swain and Jedidah Macy who were Nantucketers and moved to Guilford, North Carolina somewhere around the 1780s. To have moved all the way to North Carolina from Massachussets, and then 15 years later move again to Georgia . . . it just seems like that's a little more far fetched.  William W. Swain Sr. married Rebecca Williamson in 1808 in Franklin Co., Georgia. Abbeville, SC is right along the border between South Carolina and Georgia and is only about three counties away from Franklin, GA.

Also, William W. Swain's census records indicate he was born in North Carolina but his life synopsis in his son's biography indicates South Carolina. Abbeville was in the Peidmont Area of South Carolina. This Peidmont Historical Society of South Carolina says (William W. Swain was born in 1783): "Prior to the early 1800's, North Carolina also claimed the northern portion of the South Carolina Piedmont. So, some of the early records will be found in Tryon County and Mecklenburg County as well as the colonial and state records of North Carolina."s Perhaps this could be why there's a discrepancy as to where William W. claimed he was born.