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March 14, 2009

Parents of William W. Swain Sr.

I'm searching for real evidence that William W. Swain was indeed the son of Joseph Swain and Jedidah Macy of Nantucket Island. I took this as fact, having seen several other genealogists report this same information, but on the McNairy, TN genweb site I came across a biography of William W. Swain from a book titled "McNairy County History of Tennessee" published in 1887 by The Goodspeed Publishing Co. of Chicago and Nashville, that is having me question the data:

"William Swain of Irish descent, born in South Carolina in 1783; when about thirteen years of age he went to Georgia, where he married at the age of 26. He moved to Lincoln County in 1812, and in 1828 to Henderson, Chester Co., TN, and remained there until 1840, when he settled in McNairy County, resuming his farming and so continuing up to a year previous to his death , which occurred in 1871. Rebecca Williamson Swain was born in Georgia about 1788; she died in 1861; she and her husband were both faithful members of the Primitive Baptist Church."

This information contradicts some of the information I have. According to census records, it is stated that William was born in North Carolina. I also have him born in 1781, not 1783. I also did not know he was of Irish descent. So it brings up some questions, especially since this biography was written only 16 years after his death.

Today I found a link to the Barney Genealogical Record. "Eliza Starbuck Barney's journal is the most reliable genealogy for Nantucket’s families for the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. The Barney Record contains vital information on more than 40,000 Nantucketers". William Swain, b1781 is listed as a child of Joseph Swain and Jedidah Macy; however, when clicking on this William Swain it has him listed as married to a Nancy Osborn with no other identifying information.

Either this is the same William Swain who then remarried Rebecca Williamson in 1808, the person who wrote the biography was all wrong, or we have the wrong family all together.

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