The Swain Migration Chronology, Part II: The Article in the Boston Evening Transcript

As we’ve seen, the early Swains are actually somewhat well-documented, but after branches of the family left the coast and traveled inland towards western New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York, multiplying like rabbits as they went, genealogical chaos more or less set in.

With poor record keeping, and an annoying tendency of parents to all give their children the same five or six first names, it can be quite difficult to discern one early 19th century line from another.

Imposing some sort of provisional order on things was this 109 year-old article, reproduced from The Boston Evening Transcript, November 16, 1908.

At the time I obtained it, from a terrible Xerox featuring positively minute typeface, it took a good bit of work to simply put it in the readable format you see here.

Since then, the full set of Boston Evening Transcript articles have happily become available in digital format. I just haven’t accessed them yet.




4 thoughts on “The Swain Migration Chronology, Part II: The Article in the Boston Evening Transcript

  1. jtwitzel July 23, 2019 / 9:04 pm

    Fantastic! Thank you for sharing this. My husband is a descendant of Jonathon Swain. He is also a descendant of his daughters Mary Swain Gordon and Hannah Swain Gordon. This article is great. I have only seen some of this information in bits and pieces in other publications.

    • LSL July 24, 2019 / 2:25 pm

      Hey, terrific!
      Glad it was helpful!

      • jtwitzel August 12, 2019 / 4:59 pm

        Not sure if it matters to you or not (looks like you have stopped this blog 😦 ) BUT – Jonathon Swain – 4th generation – the information regarding his son Levi’s will does not match the actual will on file. His will is dated 1839, not 1822 as stated in the article. He left the bulk of his estate to his wife Sarah, and he did leave $1 to his sisters: Lydia Poor, Mary Gordon, Elizabeth Brown. He left $20 to his sister Sarah Nay. He further left $1 to Mary Gordon, Betsy Gordon, Thomas Gordon, and Hannah Judd. These people were not identified with a relationship in the will. (My husband is a descendant of Thomas Gordon and Jonathon Swain and so I recognized these people as the children of Levi’s deceased sister, Hannah, and her husband William Gilman Gordon) Levi left all the remaining estate to his nephew Jonathon Swain Brown who was also the executor of the estate. The images of the will are available on family search at

  2. LSL August 12, 2019 / 6:27 pm

    Hello! Since you mentioned it, the blog is not stopped, just on hiatus while I gather more material… 😉 Thank you for your corrections to the article. BTW, We have a Levi in our family as well. At first I thought you were talking about him, and then I reminded myself how many Swains recycled the same family names, over and over again! FWIW, it looks like Family Search is lacking much of your scholarship. Just to give you an anchor, here is Hannah’s page: Thanks again for the update! All best, LS

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