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The Swaim Family of Indiana and Oklahoma

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The Swaim Family of Indiana and Oklahoma

(and allied Adams, Best, Davies, Flammang, Mundy, Peirce and Robinson families)

Compiled by Jack Stuart Swaim

June 2, 2007

Table of Contents



Document Organization, Notations and Conventions

1.Introduction 10

2.Overview of the Swaim Family


3.Robert Jack Swaim (my father) 17

4.John Emery Swaim (my father’s father) 23

5.Henry Lindsey Swaim (b 1858) 34

6.Zebedee W. Swaim (b 1829) 40

7.John Hinds Swaim (b 1797) 44

8.Christopher Columbus Swaim (b 1774) 62

9.John Swaim (b 1748) 72

10.John Swaim (b ~ 1719) (or Michael Swaim) (b ~1715) 82

10.1.Michael Anthony Swaim (b ~ 1711 or 1715) 88

10.2.Johannes (John) Swaim (b ~ 1719) 96

11.Willem Sweem (Swaim) (b ~ 1677) 99

12.Immigration to America 101

12.1.Thys Barentsen 106

12.2.Anthony Swaim > William Swaim > John Swaim (b 1748) 112

12.3.Three Brothers in the Colony of Swerds and Finns 112

12.4.Conclusions 112

13.Adams family ancestry (my father’s mother’s mother) 113

13.1.James Adams (b 1810) 115

13.2.William W. Adams (b 1840) 118

13.3.Laura Jane Adams (b 1868) 123

14.Best family ancestry (my mother’s sister’s husband) 129

15.Davies family ancestry 133

16.Peirce family ancestry and allied families 142

16.1.Peirce ancestry 148

16.2.Stark ancestry 160

16.3.Young ancestry 164

16.4.Thorne ancestry 169

17.Robinson family ancestry (my mother’s father) 172

17.1.Quincy Quillan Roberson (?) 178

17.2.Richard Preston Robertson (b ~ 1814) 178

17.3.William Joseph Robinson (b 1837) 183

17.4.Lee Andrew Robinson (b 1868) 189

17.5.Daniel Stuart Robinson (b 1892) 192

18.Flammang (and Mundy) family ancestry (my mother’s mother) 194

18.1.Mathias Flammang (b 1822) 194

18.2.Elizabeth Flammang Mundy (b 1863) 198

Appendices: Supplementary Information 201

A. Summary of References – Swaim Family Research 201

B. Source References (all ancestry lines researched) 206

List of Figures

Figure 1 Overview Chart of my Swaim and Robinson Ancestry 10

Figure 2 Swaim Family Record 11

Figure 3 Swaim family migration in America (my ancestry) 14

Figure 4 Swaim paternal ancestry – Jack Stuart Swaim to John H. Swaim 15

Figure 5 Swaim Paternal Ancestry – John H. Swaim to Thys Barentsen 16

Figure 6 Selective Purdy Family Ancestry 31

Figure 7 Photo of Nancy Swaim Ricketts 59

Figure 8 Gravestone of Christopher Columbus Swaim 63

Figure 9 – Location of Surry, Stokes, Guilford and Randolph counties in North Carolina 83

Figure 10 Handwritten ancestry of John Swaim to Anthony Swaim by Ella Thomlinson 103

Figure 11 Adams Ancestry 114

Figure 12 Map of Tyrone County, Ireland 129

Figure 13 Map of Wales reflecting migration of Thomas Davies and family 139

Figure 14 Peirce Paternal Ancestry (Part I through John Pierce b 1768) 145

Figure 15 Pierce Paternal Ancestry (Part II through Captain Michael Pierce) 146

Figure 16 Young Paternal Ancestry 147

Figure 17 Synopsis - Robinson Family (pg 1) 173

Figure 18 Synopsis - Robinson Family (pg2) 175

Figure 19 Robinson ancestry 177

Figure 20 Map depicting the Trail of Tears migration of Cherokees from North Carolina to Oklahoma 183

Figure 21 Photos of Mathias Flammang’s patented cameras 197

List of Tables

Table 1 John H. Swaim family based on 1830 Census, NC, Stokes County 46

Table 2 John H. Swaim family based on 1840 Census, NC, Stokes County 46

Table 3 Elizabeth Swaim and family - 1850 Census, Indiana, Wells County 47

Table 4 Age Discrepancies in 1850 Census for Elizabeth Swaim family 48

Table 5 - Swim/Swaim/Swain’s in the 1790 Census, North Carolina 85

Table 6 Names and aliases of Anthony Swaim 108

Table 7: 1900 Census, Indiana, Jackson Township, Wells County – John and Laura Champion 123


I began my genealogical research during the mid-1980’s. I have intermittently worked on it on and off ever since. I’ve always wondered about my father’s surname ‘Swaim’, where it came from and what relationship it had, if any, to the more prevalent ‘Swain’ family name. As I continued to probe I expanded my work to research my maternal ancestry on my mother’s side, the Robinson’s, as well as allied families including the Adams, Best, Mundy, Peirce and Flammang families.

Once I became involved in genealogy, one of the first people I corresponded with in 1982 was Pauline Utzinger whom I noticed in an ad in a Genealogical Helper magazine of Charles Davies’. She placed me in touch with Chuck Clampitt (who descends from Mahala Swaim). Ms. Utzinger had a chart from a Mrs. Esther Clifton that listed John H. Swaim’s lineage as follows:

William Sweem


John Swaim (b 1748)


Christopher Swaim (b 1774)


John Hinds Swaim (b 1797)

Later I read about the Swaim-Tysen Family book1 which consists of two red bound volumes, 937 pages total. I corresponded with Joe Mullane, one of the authors (see Appendix), and then purchased in 1990 the last bound set he had. The Swaim-Tysen Family book by Joe Mullane, Marjorie Johnson and Lloyd Swaim is the broadest work I’ve seen on the Swaim family, its origins and various branches. It does not list sources for many items and dates, however. The sources were based on an intensive research by these three people on the early Swaim ancestry combined with family bible information provided from numerous sources. So, while the book provides a valuable, broad reference of the Swaim family history, much of the information in my view should be independently verified as much as possible. There is some conjecture included in the book that always makes genealogists a bit uncomfortable. There are also some errors.

As it turns out the Swaim family has completely different genealogical origins from the Swain family. It is true, however, that there have been some surname misspellings along the way which add to the confusion. As a result, I’m sure some of the Swain’s could actually descend from Swaim’s (and vice-versa). However, for the most part, these two families have separate and independent genealogies with certain exceptions.

The reader should be forewarned that much of this material is detailed and dry. It is not an easy read because the intent of this document was simply to compile and source various genealogical facts and information. I do not pretend to be a biographer nor do I have sufficient information on these people’s lives to compile real biographies. So, I offer this information as is, for what it is, a documentation of facts regarding the ancestry of my father, Robert Jack Swaim (along with the other genealogy lines I collected along the way). The focus is on the Swaim family genealogy although I have limited information on related families including the Adams, Best, Davies, Flammang, Mundy, Peirce and Robinson families.

-- Jack Stuart Swaim


Much of the heavy lifting associated with this genealogy research was performed by numerous people of whom I am simply the recipient of information. Genealogy can be an obsession and I have also spent many hundreds of hours on this project over the course of several decades. I spent countless hours in the early 1990’s straining my eyes over census microfilm. I now strain my eyes at a computer screen of indexed censuses. The internet has made this work much easier although there is still the basic blocking and tackling required to obtain death certificates and scour history books to find clues and bits and pieces of missing information. The internet has also facilitated the sharing of genealogical information. So, in this regard, there are countless people I wish to acknowledge that were helpful to this effort. But first, let me acknowledge several key individuals who were instrumental in helping me complete this book.

I wish to first acknowledge my Mother, Olly Marie Robinson Swaim, and especially thank her for taking the time to transcribe the Swaim family information into a “tree” format that helped me visualize my ancestry. At an early age I was fascinated by this family tree. So I owe my Mother a great deal. Without that initial diagram of the family, I probably would have never begun this research. I also thank my wife, Vivian and her Dad, Charles R. Davies who first inspired me to inquire more about my ancestry. Charles also had a passion for genealogical research and it was his Genealogical Helper magazine that I obtained a key contact from (Pauline Utzinger) that resulted in me beginning a research into my family genealogy.

I wish to also thank Joe Mullane2, Lloyd Swaim and Marjorie Johnson, authors of the Swaim-Tysen Family book that provided a lot of information regarding the early Swaim genealogical information prior to 1800 that is summarized in this document along with material from other sources. I wish to thank Linda Livingstone and Barbara Trujillo who provided solid family information on the early Swaim ancestry.

I would also like to thank my cousins Don, Steve and Tom who have been so generous in their time to help share and capture our more recent Swaim family history. And, of course, I wish to thank many, many others in the Swaim family and in other branches who provided information and gave me their help and encouragement.

Document Organization, Notations and Conventions

The document starts out with an introduction and brief overview of the Swaim family genealogy. Specific chapters are also included that focus on the Adams, Best, Davies, Flammang, Mundy and Robinson family genealogy. Then each Swaim generation is described in a separate chapter.

I elected to organize this document beginning at the current generation and working my way backwards through the various ancestor generations. I have the most detail on the more recent generations and thought this approach made the most sense to me. What I have attempted to do in this document is build a case for my ancestry beginning with the current generations and working my way backwards in time.

This organization style does have a drawback in that it results in some redundancy between chapters. From an efficiency standpoint, a simpler approach would be to start with the oldest ancestor and works towards the present. But this approach presupposes one already knows the oldest ancestor. Since this subject deals with genealogy and the need to methodically prove the relationships I elected to start with current generation, use that as a base, and then build the case for identifying the ancestor generations one step at a time.

One concern I have had with much of the genealogy being displayed on the internet now is that it is often unclear what sources were used for specific pieces of information. One thing I have sought to accomplish with this document is to reference source materials used for dates and key pieces of information. Another problem I’ve noticed with some genealogy documents prepared by others is that end-notes are not written to be read by themselves out of context of the original material being referenced. This requires the reader to continually flip back and forth between the end-notes and the material being referenced. An alternate approach is to use foot-notes rather than end-notes. However, this approach would result in a third or so of the page “real estate” being used to display footnotes. My approach is to place enough explanation in the end-notes so they can be clearly read by themselves.

Some of the notation conventions used are as follows:

  • Footnotes utilize superscripts.

  • Endnotes utilize subscripts3.

  • Abbreviations used: b (born), d (died), md (married), ~ (about)

  • < symbol indicates ‘descends from’, e.g. Jack Stuart Swaim < Robert Jack Swaim. In this example, Jack was the son of Robert.

  • Parentheses around a date for a person reflect shorthand for a particular person born in a certain year, i.e. John Swaim (1748) reflects the John Swaim born in 1748.

  • Census references are often listed by City, State (County).

  • Bolding generally used to denote a direct ancestor of myself or, in some cases, my current extended family.

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