The Swaim Family of Indiana and Oklahoma

Michael Anthony Swaim (b ~ 1711 or 1715)

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Michael Anthony Swaim (b ~ 1711 or 1715)

There is a record of a Michael Swame baptized on October 18, 1715 at the Dutch Reformed Church, Staten Island, NY who was the son of William and Mary Swame (to be described in more detail in the next chapter). There is also family information stating that the Michael Anthony Swaim who married Martha Worthington was born in 1711. Some researchers believe these were the same person while others believe these were two different Michael Swaim’s.

One possibility is that the family information stating that this Michael Swaim was born in 1711 was in error and this same Michael was actually born in 1715. In this sub-chapter I will include what is known about Michael Swaim recognizing that this lack of certainty regarding which Michael Swaim we are describing adds confusion. Unfortunately that is the nature of genealogy. Rather than mask such confusion in order to produce a nice tidy book I would prefer to be honest about what is known and what is not.

Michael Swem (Swaim) was included in the List of Taxables for Rowan County, North Carolina in 1761 taken by Thomas Stilwell. This list also included John Vickrey, Marmaduke Vickrey, William Robins, Richard Robins, Elizabeth Lamb, Christopher Nation and others.

Michael Swaim married Martha Worthington in 1747 based on family information passed down through descendants of Rebecca (Swaim) Jones. This is confirmed by the birth of their first son Abraham in 1747. They were married in the Frederick City, Virginia area.

Michael migrated to North Carolina sometime before 1761 since he is listed as Michael Swem on the 1761 List of Taxables tax list for Rowan County, North Carolina taken by Thomas Stillwell. The particular area of Rowan County where they settled is currently in Yadkin County. Rowan County in this time period was a large county that eventually became subdivide into the present day counties of Wilkes, Yadkin, Stokes, Surry, Guilford, Randolph, Davidson, etc.

Michael’s brother John also migrated to North Carolina.

“Michael’s brother John remained in the original area that became Yadkin, Stokes and Surry Counties, whereas Michael moved further eastward and settled in the general area of what is today Guilford County, North Carolina.” 723

Michael Swaim was a Baptist preacher724. There is also information that Michael’s wife Martha was somewhat of a preacher as well. The following provides some information about Michael (described here as “Father Swaim”) and Martha. It is an excerpt from a four page letter from Benjamin Sherwood from February 9, 1856. Benjamin Sherwood was the husband of Sarah Swaim, daughter of Michael Swaim (b ~1755), granddaughter of Michael Swaim (b ~1715). The original letter is in the Perkins Library, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, Benjamin Sherwood Hedrick file:

"Beloved Grandchildren" Marion Co., Iowa, page 4---1, February 9, 1856. Your grandmother Sherwood maiden name was Sally Swaim, her mothers’ maiden name was Sally Rigdon or Riggdon. Your grandfather’s father name was Michael Swaim and his father57 I think was the same, though I have no record thereof, his mother name was Martha Worthington. Father Swaim died when I was a small boy- I recollect seeing him once. Mother Swaim married Samuel Trogdon a few months before I married. She and her husband are both dead. Grandmother Martha Swaim died some years after I had a family. She was a good woman and I think probably, the best female preacher that I ever heard her husband died before I was born. All the Swaim that I have mentioned were Baptists, except mother-in-law, she was a Presbyterian. We are in only moderately good health.

P.S. February 10th the cold is intense. Respectfully
B. Sherwood
Mary Sherwood”725
There is family information passed down to descendants of Rebecca Swaim, daughter of Michael and Martha Swaim. This information was passed from Rebecca to her granddaughter Elizabeth and from Elizabeth to her granddaughter Sarah Florence Swaim. This information includes Rebecca’s family Bible information. This information was provided to me by Linda Livingstone in 2005 who obtained it from Barbara Trujillo. In my opinion, family information passed down is some of the most powerful and important genealogical information there is. I was extremely grateful to get this information which sheds light on Michael Anthony Swaim and his family. I will include this information in its entirety:

“This History is written by Sarah Florence Swaim58 the ggg granddaughter of Michael Swaim as related to her by her grandma Elizabeth who got the story and had the Bible records of her (Elizabeth’s) grandma Rebecca (Swaim) Jones who was the daughter of Michael and Martha (Worthington) Swaim. It was given to Madelaine (Swaim) Rollins to give to Barbara (Swaim) Trujillo before Flo left IN for CA to live with her daughter in 1963. It is exactly as written then, and only copied because it is (too) old and faded to be reproduced in its original form.”

Related by Sarah Florence Swaim:

“My ggg grandfather was named Michael Anthony Swaim. He was b. in 1711 in New Utrecht, NY. His parents were Anthony Swaim (who was Dutch and spoke it at home) and his Ma was Maria Dregau (a Hugenot Lady from settlement near by and she spoke French). My grandpa spoke both but not the best English. He use to tell the children Bible stories with half Dutch names and we always celebrated a small Christmas which was Dutch Custom on Jan 7th, it was also German custom ggg grandpa’s mother had been German descent but from Holland. Ggg grandpa had three brothers William, John and Matthias and twin sisters named Maria and Elizabeth. He was not fond of farming even at a early age so at 15 years old he went to work with a trading post. But the next year went to work with his uncle who did Survey work. It was a trade that ggg grandpa did in VA and NC both, he also like to build and my ggg grandma Martha and gggg aunt Charity had the best fireplaces in St. Luke’s Parish.

Related directly from Rebecca (Swaim) Jones …

“My Pa had two families his first was before he left NY. He married his cousin on his Ma’s side Elizabeth Cortelou at 18 years old. They had their first baby Elizabeth b. in 1730, their 2nd Anthony b. in 1732 and John who was b. in 1734 in the severe winter of 1737 his wife and son John died of Chills and Fever.

When his brothers William and John decided to go to VA to pioneer the Shennadoah Valley with others, he decided to go along. He left his children with their Ma’s family and declared to send for them when he had a home for them. The brothers Swaim got to VA in the 1740’s. They picked some land and was looking forward when William just said, “I ain’t working like this for no land”. He took off and married a Cherokee squaw. John left some later and went with a group of men on a Pioneering spree into the Wilderness Lands. My Pa was working with a company doing some Survey work when John returned in a couple years had a baby girl with the blackest eyes my Pa said, he ever saw. They was a nice family named Robins lived near by and they had no children and they took John’s daughter by an Indian woman and raised her. They called her Hannah she later married a Robins boy. Pa never spoke of Uncle William till many years later.

Pa met my Ma Martha Worthington in Orange Co. and they was married in 1747 and my brother William soon came along. Uncle John had met and married Aunt Charity some time earlier. They had a couple of kids already when in about 1750 Pa said he and John decided to go to Fredrick Co. and John would apply for a Fairfax Grant. You could get land for just the clearing and building a log house on it. John did the clearing and Michael did the building. They’d decided on Fredrick Co and the area they took up cause it was next to Charity’s Pa’s land William Teague. With the help of the Teagues John was able to get his land survey did in 1750. My Pa did the chain carry work for him. Charity’s brother had gone to NC when the word was out that land was more plentiful over there. My Pa took off with the family in 1750 and William Teague aunt Charity’s brother and went to Anson Co. NC. My Pa got work with the Survey Co. and did most all the Chain Carrier work on the Grandville Grants. William Teague got his first Grandville Grant in 1753 on the old Cattaba River. Pa and all us lived in St. Luke’s Parish. Even Pa's girl Elizabeth who had come from NY after Pa and ma married to VA. She was a pretty girl and she married right off to Christopher Nation. They was married in 1747 afore Christmas and named their first baby Abraham after my brother that died. Pa’s son Anthony came also when Elizabeth did from NY, he lived with us but he never got on with Pa too good and was sure good to us younguns. I had a yen to read and write. Pa thought it was a waste for a girl but Anthony taught me at night when the chores was done. Pa got mad and Anthony told him he’s leave if he interfered again with my learning. Anthony was real educated and he could even do numbers and helped Uncle William with his new business dues. Pa and Anthony quarreled about Pa’s not getting land. Pa hated farming and he didn’t want any land. He felt if ma had enough room for a garden, some chickens, a cow was all he wanted, and most all places you’d get in them days had a bit of land around it. Uncle John’s family had come to NC a year or so after we did, we’d get together, have fiddle music. Both John and Pa made a fiddle jump.”

The children of Michael and Martha (Worthington) Swaim as listed in Rebecca (Swaim) Jones Bible. It got wet in moving from NC to IN and some damaged some but readable.

Abraham b. 1747 He died same year with Coup.

William b. 1748 m. Charity Vickery

Rebecca b. 1751 m. Joseph Jones

Martha b. 1753 m. Coltrane (I wasn’t sure it was so faded)

Michael b. 1755 m. Sarah Rigdon

Silas b. 1757 m. Celia Jones

Jacob b. 1760 m. Mary Hinshaw

Rachel b. 1763 m. Josh Sanders or maybe Sauders

Jesse b. 1766 m. Rachel Watts

Infant b. 1770 Died

Written by Sarah Florence Swaim but based on Rebecca (Swaim) Jones:

“My gg grandma Rebecca told her children almost every night about NC and the beautiful land that was her home. She’d always say listen closely and promise to tell your children they trust not forget their beginnings. They always had plenty but was not rich except in Love and God’s gifts. My Ma was a strong Christian woman and her children to be Christians and to work hard. Ma was a Preacher and a good one even younguns like to hear her. Then gg grandma told of the tragedy in their life. My ggg grandpa who had worked most his life as a chain carrier was not home all the time. He was coming home for Sunday Meeting being late took the short cut, his horse stepped in a hole and fell on him. Pa’s legs was hurt bad and he almost died of Chills before Anthony found him. When he healed he had a limp and couldn’t work, Pa never got over it was hard to get on with after that

My gg grandma recalled clearly what happened next it changed their way of life, it was not the same. The closeness in family was gone. Most hardest was moving and Anthony left. Pa had Anthony take him to see some kinfolk. Pa came back in a few days told Ma that uncle John and aunt Charity was coming next Sunday for dinner. I recall ma was upset as to what she’d feed them. Pa said don’t fret woman all is done. Uncle John and Charity came with their boy Will and we was surprised to see uncle Will Teague too. Aunt Charity had brought a pot of her beans with deer meat fresh baked bread and her good vinegar pies. We found out uncle John didn’t want to claim the land Pa was living on cause he was moving from his place to another soon. The land weren’t ours but Pa was a builder and we had a lot of buildings so he sold them to Will Bows our neighbor and he’d applied for the land. Got the Grant and told Pa then he gave Pa a lot of money for the buildings. Pa told us uncle John had a place with a log house and a few acres he’d give him and we was moving there. Everyone ate and Pa then told us he’d gave most of the money to Will Teague for a pardnership in his Blacksmith shop which they was enlarging and going to start a hauling all sort of things for people. They was going to enlarge the Blacksmith Shop and make some stalls for horses to stay. They’d buy some saddle horses, a new team with several wagons to do hauling for folks about. It would give us a income all the time and a tolerable way of life, that Anthony was growed and could raise our food and William was near about a man too. Pa said, he could work some but we knowed he couldn’t. He’d keep some money for everyone new boots and shoes and Ma a new bonnet for church.

The first year was hard we hated it there but worst Anthony just came in one day and said, “I am leaving”. Pa got mad and told him to never come back. We never heard from him except ma’s brother came from VA and said, he come by his place on his way to NY. William was grown and thinking about marrying. He had to put it off and take care of us till the younger ones got older. Me, Martha and Silas were good size and I was about ready to marry to. Michael did a lot for his size. William never tolerated Pa’s outbursts like the rest and put him in the bedroom to rest or on the porch. The gout had hit Pa bad by now. Seemed years passed and we all got by.

William married Charity and we loved her. I married Joseph. The kids growed up and two more got married and the old place became part of Guilford Co. Uncle John now had a place in Surrey Co. It was real nice too.

Joseph and I with family went to IN. later came Martha (husband had died) and so she came to IN with Rachel and Josh and their families. It was wonderful to have family near again and to hear about the others. William had got a good deal of land on Pole Cat Creek and he sold off a bit to Michael to get him started. Both are doing good. Pa and Ma take turns living with William and Michael. Celia finally had a boy Martha said they named Silas William. It was some years later when one of uncle John’s sons came to IN and filled us in on all the news. Silas and Celia’s boy Silas married his cousin Catherine but she died and he remarried and moved to AL some place near uncle John’s children. Never heard about Jesse and family but Jacob and Mary came to IN where she had family and went to Wayne Co. a good piece from us but we seen them twice. I am glad cause now I feel my days are short and I guess even the grandkids are tired of my telling about the family in NC. I pray they never forget where they began. I hope I did my ggg grandpa Michael and his family justice. My Mom was always upset cause when we went to do research everything was wrote about John but nothing about her gg grandpa Michael. I hope she is looking down from her place in heaven and is happy, “I did my best”. 726

This family account includes a lot of information. Some major points are as follows:

  1. This Michael’s father’s name was Anthony Swaim and his mother was Maria Drageau. Michael’s middle name was ‘Anthony”.

  2. This states that this Michael was born in 1711 in New Utrecht, NY. However this was written by Sarah about her ggg grandfather. I have to wonder how she knew his year of birth and how accurate this 1711 birth date really is. Rebecca did not write it down in her information. It is possible she got his date of birth (not his name and the other information) from some other source.

  3. Michael’s wife was Martha Worthington. Martha was a good preacher.

  4. Michael had three brothers, William, John and Matthias, and twin sisters named Maria and Elizabeth.

  5. Michael’s brother John Swaim married Charity Teague, daughter of William Teague.

  6. Michael and his first wife Elizabeth Cortelou had a son named John, born 1734, but Elizabeth and the baby both died of “Chills and fever” in the sever winter of 1737.

  7. There is no record listed here of a son named John by Michael and Martha Swaim.

  8. There is no specific mention or reference to John Swaim (1748). In fact John Swaim (1748) could not have been a child of this Michael Anthony Swaim because the family information states that Michael had sons Anthony and William born in 1747 and 1748, respectively.

  9. Michael was severely injured by a fall with a horse that fell on him. Michael recovered but walked with a limp and could no longer work.

  10. Michael and brother John played the fiddle and “made a fiddle jump”.

The birth date listed for Michael in this account is 1711. I’m not aware of baptismal records for a Michael Swaim (or similar surname) in this year (but there could be and I just haven’t located it). I reviewed Staten Island - RDC of Port Richmond Baptisms - 1696-1790 which includes a Sweem baptism.

1708 Apr 20; Johannes Sweem; Annetie; Barent Sweem, Mary Belveel

Perhaps the baptism of this Michael Swaim (1711) was recorded elsewhere. We know that there is the Michael Swaim mentioned in the Swaim-Tysen Family book who was baptized in 1715 and was a son of Willem Swame:

1715 Oct 18; Willem Swame; Magyel; Hendreck Willemsen, Maritje Wyllemit

The Swaim-Tysen Family book and others claim this Michael Swaim (1715) married Martha Worthington.

There are two obvious possibilities:

  1. The Michael Swaim, born 1715, is the same Michael Anthony Swaim described in the Rebecca Swaim Jones family information, however, the 1711 birth listed for Michael was incorrect due to faulty memory and should have been listed as 1715.

  2. The Michael Swaim, born 1715, is a different Michael Swaim from Michael Anthony Swaim described in the Rebecca Swaim Jones account.

The possibility that the year of birth, 1711, could be in error is not that farfetched since, after all, there have been listings of John Swaim, born 1748, as incorrectly being born in 1745. However, a key piece of information that makes a strong case for there being two different Michael Swaim’s is the name of the father. The father of Michael Swaim, born 1715, was Willem Swame because we have the baptism record. The father of Michael Swaim as described by Sarah Florence for Michael Swaim, born 1711, was Anthony Swaim not William. Anthony’s wife Maria Drageau was also listed. Rebecca Swaim Jones directly mentions that Michael Swaim first married his cousin Elizabeth Cortelou.

So, in conclusion, I lean towards believing these are two different Michael Swaim’s. I believe the family information in the Rebecca Swaim Jones account to be sufficiently detailed and quite credible. This account confirms (at least to me) that this Michael Swaim, born 1711, was not the father of John Swaim (1748). However this account does not rule out the possibility that Michael Swaim, born 1715, could have been his father. Unfortunately this matter requires further study and hopefully new material will surface. There is not a lot of consensus on the internet regarding this Michael Swaim.

Michael Swaim (1711) died sometime before 1782 since his widow Martha is listed as a widow in the 1782 North Carolina Census (Guilford County).

Michael Anthony Swaim (b 171559) married Martha Worthington (b ~ 1727727, d ~1798-1806728). Martha has also been referred to as Marthey and is listed that way in the 1790 census. Martha was the daughter of Samuel Worthington and Sarah Simcock. Some believe Martha died near Center Friends Community, Guilford County, North Carolina, which is 18 miles south of Greensboro, North Carolina.729. Michael Swaim married Martha when he was about 30. Martha may have been his second wife730.

Michael and Martha Swaim had the following children731:

  1. Abraham Swaim (b 1747, d 1747732). “He died same year with Coop”.

  2. William Swaim (b 1748733, d ~1811) married ~ 1770734 to Charity Vickrey735 (b 1752736, d 16 Aug 1837737) who was a sister of Elizabeth Vickery. Charity Vickrey was the daughter of Marmaduke Vickrey and Elizabeth Nation.738 William Swaim was born in Frederick County, Virginia. William was a farmer and spent almost all of his life in Guilford County. William died around 1811 and was buried in Guilford County, NC. Charity died in Guilford County, North Carolina.

    William and Charity Swaim had the following children:

  1. Marmaduke Swaim (b 2 Apr 1771, d 31 Aug 1828739) was married August 25, 1798 to Sarah Fannon (b 18 Nov 1776740).

  2. Naomi Swaim married February 5, 1800 (marriage bond date) to John Morgan.

  3. Michael Swaim (b ?, d 6 Jan 1830) married ~ 1804 to Christiana Stone

  4. William Jeremiah Swaim (b 1792, d Nov 1851) married Mary “Polly” Ann Weatherly (b ~1797741). In 1850 William and Mary were living in Surrey County, North Carolina.

  5. Martha “Patsy” Swaim married May 18, 1814 (bond) to Richard Fentress.

  6. Charity Swaim married John Green.

  7. Moses Swaim (b ~1791, d ?) married ~1817 to Elizabeth Armfield.

  8. John Swaim (b 1792?, d 1874), never married.

  9. Massa Swaim (b 1794, d ~1891) married November 21, 1824 (bond) to James Polk.

  10. Elizabeth Swaim (b ?, d Oct 1829), never married.

  1. Rebecca Swaim (b 1751742, d ~ 1831). Rebecca was born Frederick County, Virginia. Rebecca married Joseph Jones. Rebecca died in Boone County, Indiana.743
    Rebecca Swaim and Joseph Jones had at least one child:

    1. Catherine Jones. Catherine married Silas Swaim (her cousin). Catherine and Silas Swaim had at least the following children:

      1. Michael Swaim (b ~1808). Michael married Rebecca (unknown). Michael and Rebecca Swaim had at least the following children:

        1. Phoebe Swaim

        2. George Swaim

        3. Sylas N. Swaim

        4. Mary J. Swaim

        5. Deborah Swaim

        6. Sarah E. Swaim

        7. Martha E. Swaim

      2. Jesse Abner Swaim (b ~1819)744. Jesse marred Mary Jane Fones.745

  2. Martha Swaim (b 1753746). Married an (unknown) Coltrane.

  3. Michael Swaim (b 1755747) was married on 24 Jul 1775748 to Sarah Ridgon749. Michael and Sarah Swaim had the following children:

  1. Levi Swaim (b ~ 1776).

  2. Michael Swaim (b 17 Feb 1781, d 23 Sep 1830). Born in North Carolina. Married Priscilla Sherwood.

  3. John Enoch Swaim (b 3 Apr 1782, d 14 Aug 1865). John “Enoch” Swaim was born in Guilford County, North Carolina and died in Ducktown, Tennessee (Polk County). Enoch married Nancy Laurence (b ~ 1790, d 14 Aug 1855)750 on 10 Oct 1809751.

  4. Silas Swaim (b ~ 1785, d ~ 1849). Born in North Carolina. Married Catherine Jones (1st) and Temperance Wall (2nd). Died in Jackson County, Alabama.

  5. Sarah Swaim (b 29 Sep 1787752, d 18 Apr 1845753). Sarah (also known as Sally) was married Benjamin Sherwood (b 21 Aug 1783754, d 1865755) in 1804756. Benjamin’s parents were Daniel Sherwood and Mary (or Frances) Lynthicum. 757 Sarah and Nejamin Sherwood had 13 children. 758.
    ”Benjamin and Sally settled in Rowan County, N.C., now Davidson County, eight miles west of Lexington, on a farm called Cherry Hill. H e lived there for 28 years, leaving in the spring of 1832. He stayed in Wilkes County for two years and three months, leaving on 14 July 1834 for Indiana. In Oct. 1841, Benjmain Sherwood divorced Sally and on 4 Jan. 1848 he married Mary Shelton, widow of James Shelton. In Jan 1867 Michael Swaim Sherwood writes that he had just heard of the death of Benjamin Sherwood.”759

  6. William Swaim

  7. Daughters unknown.760

  1. Silas Swaim (b 1757761, d ~ 1825762). Silas was born in Rowan County, North Carolina. Silas married Celia Jones. Silas died in Randolph County, North Carolina

  2. Jacob Swaim (b 1760763). Jacob married Mary Hinshaw.

  3. Rachel Swaim (b 1763764). Rachel married John Sanders (perhaps Sauders).

  4. Jesse Swaim (b 1766765). Jesse was born in Rowan County, North Carolina. Jesse married Rachel Watts.

  5. Infant (b 1770, d ~1770766). “Died”.

- Moses Swaim (b ~ 1760) is listed as a child of Michael and Marthey Swaim based on Worthington Family web site. This son was left out of the Swaim-Tysen family book. Moses Swaim migrated into Athens Co. Ohio about 1809. This Moses purchased 160 acres of land in 1809 in Swan Township, Athens Co. Ohio which is now in Vinton Co. Ohio. Records of Montgomery Co. Kentucky show him there from 1794 to 1808. He obtained a license to marry Cathy Berry in Carroll Co. Kentucky on September of 1796.767

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