The Swaim Family of Indiana and Oklahoma

Zebedee W. Swaim (b 1829)

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Zebedee W. Swaim (b 1829)

The Swaim Family Record lists Henry Lindsey Swaim’s father as “Zebedie” Swaim. “Zebedee” is the correct spelling of the name since “Zebedee” is listed in John H. Swaim’s obituary (see Appendix), in various census records and in his father John H. Swaim’s obituary. In addition, Zebedee is a biblical name as Zebedee was the father of the Apostle James in the Bible.

Zebedee W. Swaim was born in Stokes County, North Carolina on October 7, 1829.

According to his obituary, Zebedee migrated from North Carolina to Indiana in 1847. Further information on the family’s migration to Indiana is included in the following chapter.

In 1880, Zebedee W. Swaim was living in Jackson Township (near Bluffton) in Wells County, Indiana. He was a farmer, listed as born in 1829 in N.C., age 51, with a 21 year old son Henry L. Swaim and 19 year old daughter Emma C. Swaim172. Zebedee’s father and mother were shown in the census as having been born in North Carolina. This matches the Swaim Family Record that shows Zebedee born on October 7, 1829 and other corroborating evidence (not to mention that Zebedee is not exactly a common name). As information, Zebedee W. Swaim is not to be mistaken with Zebedee L. Swaim from Jasper County, Indiana who married Ida Clark.

The Swaim Family Record shows that Zebedee married “Julian” Huffman on November 12, 1857 and that she was born on April 21, 183631. Her name was actually Julia Ann Huffman, daughter of Henry Huffman and Catherine Baker, both born in Pennsylvania. Her maiden name, Huffman, is supported by her death certificate which lists her father as Henry Huffman and her mother as Catherine Baker173. David Huffman family information lists her mother as Elizabeth Ebersole. Henry Huffman remarried to Catherine Baker after Elizabeth died in 1837. I will continue to show her mother as Catherine Baker as stated in her death certificate unless I get additional compelling information 174

The reference, Marriages for Wells County Before 1850, Book A, Page 19 (see Appendix), lists Zebedee’s marriage to a Julia Ann Frost on November 12, 1857. Why she is listed as Julia Ann Frost in this record is puzzling to me unless her marriage to Zebedee was her second marriage. Another possibility would have been her father passing away, her mother remarrying a Frost and Julia changing her last name to Frost prior to Julia’s marriage to Zebedee. However, Henry Huffman did not pass away until 1883 according to David Huffman family information175. As information, the 1923 Directory of Wells County lists 13 Huffman’s in the same area as Henry Swaim, Zebedee’s son, and no Frost’s are listed. So far this remains an open item and I can not explain why her name is listed as Frost in the Indiana marriage records. My best explanation for it is that she must have first married a Frost prior to marrying Zebedee but I have no conclusive proof of that.

According to the 1870 and 1880 censuses, Zebedee W. Swaim was a farmer who lived in the Jackson Township in Wells County, Indiana. According to the 1880 census, Julia A. Swaim was 43 having been born in Ohio and her parents were from Pennsylvania. This appears to be one year less than what she should have been based on her listed birth in the Swaim Family Record of April 21, 1836 and the fact the 1880 census was taken June 4, 1880. Julia is listed in her son Henry’s home in the 1910 and 1920 censuses. Julia died in 1924 of chronic interstitial nephritis and was buried in I.O.O.F Cemetery, Montpelier, Indiana.176

Zebedee W. Swaim (b 7 Oct 1829177, d 25 Sep 1888178) was married on November 12, 1857179 to Julia Ann Huffman180 (b 21 Apr 1836181, d 2 Sep 1924182).

Julia Ann Huffman was born in Clark County, Ohio183. Her father was Henry Huffman (b 1 May 1799, d 21 Oct 1883184). Her mother was listed as Henry’s 2nd wife Catherine Baker (b 18 Jun 1813, d 18 Sep 1883185) on Julia’s death certificate. However, I believe her mother to be Elizabeth Ebersole, Henry’s first wife.

Henry’s first wife was Elizabeth Ebersole (b 6 Aug 1809, d 18 Sep 1837186) who was the daughter of Jacob Ebersole, Jr and Salome Keller 187. They lived in Clark County, Ohio.

Henry and Elizabeth Huffman had at least the following children:

  • Jacob Huffman (11 Jan 1831). Born in Clark County, Ohio.

  • Catherine Huffman (b 11 Dec 1832). Born in Clark County, Ohio.

  • Sarah “Sallie” Huffman (19 Oct 1834). Born in Clark County, Ohio.

  • Julia Ann Huffman (2 Apr 1836)188. Born in Clark County, Ohio.

According to the records of David Huffman (which I have not been able to independently verify), Elizabeth died in 1837, a year after Julia’s birth. If this is true then it would appear that Julia’s real mother was Elizabeth Ebersole, not Catherine Baker. I believe it to be likely that Julia’s Death Record is mistakenly based on her step-mother, not her real mother. That would seem to fit this set of facts.

Henry and Elizabeth Huffman had a daughter named Catherine Huffman who married Samuel James Batson. Catherine and Samuel Batson had a child named Sarah Batson who first married John Smithson (1st marriage) and then later married Henry Swaim (2nd marriage).

If this information is correct, then Henry Swaim married his cousin Sarah Batson (Smithson).

Henry Huffman came to Jackson Township, Indiana (Wells County) in 1840. Henry Huffman’s father was Adam Huffman, one of the earliest settlers of Clark County, Ohio.189

Zebedee Swaim and Julia Ann Huffman had the following two children32:

  1. Henry Lindsey Swaim (b 25 Oct 1858, d 17 Mar 1941). Henry married November 24, 1880 to Mary “Indiana” Tomlinson (b ~1862, d 2 Nov 1888). Henry’s wife, Mary Swaim, died in 1888. Henry remarried November 1, 1889 to Sarah Batson Smithson who died in 1908.

    [Henry L. Swaim and his family are described in more detail in the previous chapter].

  2. Emma Catherine Swaim (b 25 Feb 1861190, d 11 Jul 1941191) married December 23, 1880192 to Dennis Orlando (Lon) Williamson (b 9 Sep 1856193, d 16 Nov 1916194). Dennis Williamson was born in Troy, Ohio and was the son of Benjamin F. Williamson and Sarah Layton from Ohio195. Emma and Lon lived in Chester Township in Wells County, Indiana. Dennis was a farmer.196 Dennis Williamson died at age 60 in Chester Township, Indiana near Bluffton and was buried at I.O.O.F Oddfellows Cemetery, Montpelier, Indiana

    Emma and Lon Williamson had at least the following children:

  1. Rollie Edward Williamson (b 2 Nov 1881197, d 1948198). Married Jennie33 Blanche Clark (b ~ 1898)199. Rollie was of medium build and had blue eyes based on his WW1 Draft Registration. Rollie and Jennie Williamson had at least the following children:

    1. Lawrence L. Williamson (b ~1902). Born in Indiana

    2. Tom Williamson (b ~1910). Born in Indiana.

    3. Ruby Williamson (b ~ 1914). Born in Indiana.

    4. Marjorie Williamson (b ~1918). Born in Indiana.200 Became Marjorie Monce.

    5. Martha Williamson. Became Martha Sparks and lived in Van Buren, Indiana.

    6. Helen Jane Williamson (b 19 Aug 1922, d 22 Feb 2002). Born in Liberty Township (Wells County). Helen was married in 1939 to Everett Bert Losure (d 1988) and lived in Van Buren, Indiana. Helen died on February 22, 2002 at Twin City Health Care, Gas City, Indiana. Helen’s Obituary reads as follows:
      Helen J. Losure, 79, of Van Buren, a native of Wells County, died at 12:25 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at Twin City Community Nursing Home in Gas City. Mrs. Losure, who was a secretary, retired in 1984 from Grant County courthouse offices, where she was employed in the county clerk’s office and as the court recorder. She was born in Liberty Township, Wells County, Aug. 19, 1922 to Rollie and Jennie Clark Williamson. Her marriage in 1949 was to Everett Losure, who died in 1988. Mrs. Losure, who was a 1939 graduate of Jackson Center High School in Wells County, had resided in Van Buren for 57 years. Surviving are a son, Alan Losure of Gas City; a daughter, Judy Capes of Naples, Fla.; two sisters, Marjorie Monce of Bluffton and Martha Sparks of Van Buren; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. A sister, three brothers and a great-grandchild are deceased. Services will be at the Ferguson Funeral Home in Van Buren at 11 a.m. Friday with Dr. Blake J. Neff officiating. Burial will be in Garden of Memory Cemetery at Marion. There will be no visitation.” 201

      Helen and Everett Losure had at least the following children:

      1. Alan Losure. Lived in Gas City.

      2. Judy Losure. Judy became Judy Capes. Lived in Naples, Florida.

  2. Curtis Clyde Williamson (b 2 Nov 1881, d 22 Sep 1885)202.

  3. Carrie Elmer Williamson (b Mar 1886203, d 1957204).

  4. Arthur Freeman Williamson (b May 1891205, d 15 Jul 1947206). In 1930 Arthur was living with his mother, Emma two doors down from his brother Hugh E. Williamson in Chester, Indiana (Wells County). He had no listed occupation in the 1930 census. Arthur is buried at I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Montpelier, IN207.

  5. Hugh Everett Williamson (b 24 Jun 1895208, d 15 Apr 1991209). Married Marguerite H. Carnes (b ~1904210, d ~ 1 Mar 1993211) who was also born in Indiana. Hugh was a farmer and died in Montpelier, Indiana (Blackford County). Marguerite died in 1993 near Montpelier at the age of 88.
    Hugh and Marguerite Williamson had at least the following child:

  1. Mara E. Williamson (b ~1921212). Born in Indiana.

  1. Nellie May Williamson (b Jan 1900213). Born in Wells County, Indiana.

In addition, the 1880 Census shows Allison McIntyre, 16, living with the family as a laborer (white).

Zebedee W. Swaim died on September 25, 1888 at home at the age of 58 years. He was buried at Wright’s cemetery214. I obtained obituaries from the Warren Weekly News via internet board post by volunteers. The obituaries for Zebedee are as follows:

The Warren Weekly News, Friday, October 5, 1888 obituary:

“Zebedee Swaim died at his home in Jackson Township, Sept. 25th, 1888, aged 58 years. Funeral services were held at South Salem church conducted by Rev. Lot Green, and the remains were interred in Wright's cemetery. The attendance of neighbors and friends was very large, showing the high esteem in which the deceased was held. A wife and two grown children are left to mourn his departure. Those who were acquainted with him from youth say that he was an excellent citizen.”

The Warren Weekly News, Friday, October 19, 1888 obituary:

“Z.W. Swaim, the son of John H. and Elizabeth Swaim, was born in Stokes County, N.C., Oct. 7th, 1829, and died at his home in Jackson township, Wells county, Ind., September 25th, 1888, aged 58 years, 11 months and 18 days. He joined the M.P. church in his 17th year and lived a pious Christian life until called from labor to reward. He was among the first pioneers of Wells County, coming to this county in the year 1847, where he lived and labored to clear the mighty forest and make it to blossom as the rose. He has resided in this neighborhood since the year 1861, where he worked and improved his beautiful home. His life is well worthy of imitation. He lived in the fear of his Maker and walked upright before God and man until the Lord said "It is enough, come up higher." Peace be to his ashes. Z.W. Swaim and Julian Huffman were married Nov. 12th, 1857, by Ezra Con, a minister of the gospel, and there was born unto them one son and one daughter. He leaves behind him his bereaved companion and his two children, and one brother and three sisters, besides a large circle of friends to mourn his sad departure. - James H. Deaver”215

Julia Ann Huffman Swaim died in 1924 at Jackson Township, Wells County, Indiana. Julia died of chronic interstitial nephritis. Both Zebedee and Julia are buried at Julia is buried at I. O. O. F. Cemetery, Montpelier, Indiana.216

The primary evidence for Zebedee being the father of Henry Lindsey Swaim is as follows:

  • Swaim Family Record lists Zebedee as the father of Henry L. Swaim.

  • 1880 Census, Wells County, Indiana lists Henry and his sister living with Zebedee with derived birth dates that match the Swaim Family Record.

  • 1920 census which shows Zebedee’s wife Julia living in Henry L. Swaim’s house at Jackson Township, Indiana (Wells County).

  • John H. Swaim Obituary February 16, 1896 that lists Zebedee Swaim as a son. Z. W. Swaim Obituary dated 18 Oct 1888 in Bluffton Banner which stated that he was the son of John and Elizabeth Swaim.

  • Death Certificate of Henry L. Swaim that lists Zebedee Swaim as his father.

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