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July 20, 2014

Quaker Meeting Notes

I found this document today on ancestry.com. 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 ancestry.com 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!

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