The Swaim Family of Indiana and Oklahoma

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Specific relationships between people born prior to 1800 are extremely difficult to trace. The fact we have any records at all, in some cases, is amazing to me based on the conditions in which these people lived. Think about it. Here we are looking for land records in a period of time in which a revolutionary war was going on.

Many researchers have spent an exhaustive amount of time trying to understand the original Swaim ancestry. The fact the name was created here in America is interesting but also problematic in tracing the ancestry further. It is possible that further definitive information on the lineage will never be provably documented. It would appear that the best documented theory put forward thus far is that the Swaim’s descend from a common ancestor from Holland named Thys Barentsen.

  1. Adams family ancestry (my father’s mother’s mother)

This chapter describes the ancestry of Laura Adams, my father’s grandmother. Laura Adams was my grandmother Alice Belle Hawkins Champion’s mother. Alice Belle was known as “Grandma Belle” to me and the other cousins.

Belle’s mother was Laura Jane Adams who was the daughter of William W. Adams and Rachel A. Thornburgh. William Adams was the son of James Adams and Martha DeVoss829. My mother had mentioned that she had heard that these Adams may be related to a former President. While that is certainly possible it may also just be wishful thinking as I have no evidence of any specific connection of these Adamses to any former Presidents. William Adam’s obituary and biographical record published did not mention any such distinction. Of course I have never been able to trace this family any further back than James Adams, born in 1810.72

Figure 11 Adams Ancestry

In this section I will describe this family beginning with the oldest generation, James Adams, and work forwards.

    1. James Adams (b 1810)

James Adams was the father of William W. Adams. James Adams was born in 1810 in Pennsylvania.

James was a merchant and was married to Margaret (Martha) Devoss in 1834 in Ross County, Ohio. Martha Devoss was born in 1812 in Ohio830. Martha Devoss was the daughter of John W. Devoss and Margaret Mathews. John Devoss (b 1787) was the son of Joseph Devoss831. Joseph DeVoss, born Bef. 1774; died 1822 in Pike County, Ohio.

“Children of Joseph DeVoss are:

i. Rebecca DeVoss, born Abt. 1792 in Kentucky.; died May 10, 1850 in Buckskin Township, Ross County, Ohio; married Daniel Hixson June 25, 1812 in Buckskin Township, Ross County, Ohio.

ii. John W. DeVoss, married Margaret Mathews.

iii. Isaac DeVoss, married Norie Murphy.

iv. Margaret DeVoss, married John Barkley.

v. Catherine DeVoss, married James Gragg.

vi. Sophia DeVoss (b 1804, d 19 Mar 1879), married Thomas Cox (b 1801, 1896) .”832 “Sophia born in Kentucky in 1804 and brought to Ohio by her parents when three years old. Thomas and Sophia Cox reared a family of six children.” 833

In 1850 John and Margaret Devoss and their family lived in Buckskin, Ohio (Ross County).

John W. Devoss (b 28 Sep 1787) and Margaret Mathews (b 1 Oct 1791) had at least the following children:

  1. Margaret (Martha) Devoss (b 11 Jul 1812, d 1 Jan 1847)

  2. Ann Devoss (b 17 Aug 1814)

  3. Andrew (or David) Devoss (b 4 Dec 1816)

  4. John Woodward Devoss (b 29 Jun 1819)

  5. James Devoss (b 1 Aug 1821)

  6. William M. Devoss (b 14 Dec 1823)

  7. Elizabeth Devoss (b 1 Mar 1826)

  8. Thomas Devoss (b 4 Apr 1828)

  9. Henry Martin Devoss (b 11 Dec 1830)834

  10. Daniel Devoss (b ~ 1834)835

I do not have any information regarding James’ mother and father. The only Adams living in Ross County, Ohio in 1850 that is a likely candidate to be James’ father was David Adams, born ~ 1789836 who was married to Elizabeth (unknown) (b ~ 1800). David Adams was born in Pennsylvania. David was a wealthy farmer whose farm was valued at $110,000. This was a considerable amount of money in 1850. I have no specific information to confirm that David was James’ father other than the circumstantial information already mentioned.

James Adams (b 31 Aug 1810837, d 7 May 1882838) and Margaret (Martha) Devoss (b 11 Jul 1812839, d 1 Jan 1847840) were married on May 8, 1834841 in Ross County, Ohio.

James and Martha Devoss had the following five children:

  1. Anna73 Eliza Adams (b 23 Sep 1837842, d before 1917) married Albert M. Moon843 (b 14 Feb 1835844, d after 1900).845 Albert Moon was the son of Thomas Moon and Frances Irons846. Anna and Albert Moon first settled in Fayette County, Ohio. By 1880 they had moved to Randolph County, Indiana.
    Anna and Albert Moon had at least the following children:

    1. Margaret Moon

    2. Millard Moon (b ~ 1857)

    3. Ida M. Moon (b ~ 1861)

    4. Francis Moon (b ~ 1864)

    5. Nancy E. Moon (b ~ 1866)

    6. Ettie J. Moon (b ~ 1869)

    7. Thomas Orville Moon (b 4 Jan 1871, 7 Jun 1944847). Thomas married Dorotha Ann Garringer. Thomas buried at Hopewell Cemetery, Indiana (Randolph County).

    8. Alena C. Moon (b ~ 1874)

    9. George J. Moon (b ~ 1876)

    10. Myrtle A Moon (b Feb, 1879)848

  2. John A. Adams (b 30 Jul 1838849, d after 1917). I do not see any evidence that John A. Adams ever married. In the 1900 Census, Harrison Township (Blackford County), Indiana, he was living with his brother William and listed as “single”. John A. Adams is listed as still living in William Adams’ 1917 obituary so he must have died after 1917. In 1917 he was living in Marion, Indiana.

  3. William W. Adams (b 23 Sep 1840, d 25 Feb 1917). Born in Ohio. William Adams married Rachel Thornburgh and, later, Mary Catherine Larue William W. Adams passed away in Montpelier, Indiana (Blackford County)850.
    [Details described later].

  4. Sylvester Adams (b 30 May 1842851, d 3 Aug 1846852). Born in Ohio. Died young.

  5. Margaret Ella Adams (b 16 Sep 1844853). Born in Ohio. No further information on Margaret in regard to whether she married, and, if so, who she married.

Martha Devoss Adams passed away in 1847. James Adams then married Catharine Davis (b ~ 1824854) on March 1, 1849855.

The 1850 Census (Ohio) lists James, age 39, wife Catharine, age 25, Ann E. (14), John (12), William (8), Margaret E. (5) and James (8 mths). James was the first child of James and Catherine Adams. All of the other children were children of James and Martha Adams.

James and Catharine (Davis) Adams had at least the following children:

    1. James 856 Adams (b ~1850857). Born in Ohio.

    2. Samuel Adams. Born in Ohio. Samuel Adams is listed as a living brother in William W. Adams’ obituary so he must have died after 1917. In 1917 he was living in Indianapolis.

In the 1850 Census the family was listed as living in the Buena Vesta Township (Fayette County, Ohio) which is where this family lived in 1850 based on The Biographical Record excerpt of William Adams I found in the old Adams family bible.

By 1880 James Adams was living in the household of William and Rachel Adams in Monroe Township, Indiana (Randolph County).

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