William W MCSWAIN Edna Earl MCSWAIN Albert MCSWAIN John William MCSWAIN Thelma MUSTIN Belle MCSWAIN Bertha M MCSWAIN William W MCSWAIN Sarah Ann Isabella LOWE Mini tree diagram

George Burton MCSWAIN10,11,2,1,15,4,16,6,7,8,3,12,13,14

26th Aug 18842,3,4,5,6,7,8 - 23rd Mar 19486,7

Life History

26th Aug 1884

Born in Ethel, Arkansas, Arkansas.2,3,4,5,6,7,8

between 1900 and 1918

Resident in Ethel, Arkansas, Arkansas.9,10

21st Feb 1917

Married Thelma MUSTIN in Arkansas County, Arkansas.15

Sep 1918

Residence2 in Memphis, Shelby, Tennessee.4


Residence3: (might have been only his wife, gone home to have the baby) in Stuttgart, Arkansas, Arkansas.1


Residence4 in Plainview, Hall, Texas.11


Residence5 in Stuttgart, Arkansas, Arkansas.10

between 1935 and 1948

Residence6: worked in Wayne County in oil field for a while in between in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio.3,7,6,8,12,13,14

before 1935

Divorced from Thelma MUSTIN.8

about 1948

Death of son John William MCSWAIN in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio.1

23rd Mar 1948

Died in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio.6,7

after 23rd Mar 1948

Buried in Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio.6,7


Birth of son John William MCSWAIN in Stuttgart, Arkansas, Arkansas.11,17,1


  • In 1880, George's family are reported in the census for PrairieTownship of Arkansas County, Arkansas.  Details about the location oftheir house and neighbours indicates they are near the settlement ofEthel.  George's father William died before 1900, and details aboutthe family are sparse. I finally found the 1900 census record forSarah and two of her children.  This gave us birth months for theSarah and the other children.

    1900 Federal Census, Arkansas County, Arkansas, 20 June, PrairieTownship, District 7, page 15A, Hse #254, Fam #261
    McSwain, Sarah  Head W  F  Jan 1856  44  AR MS TN Farmer
    McSwain, Edna  Dau  W  F  Oct 1877  22  AR NC TN
    McSwain, George  Son W  M  Aug 1884  15 AR NC TN

    Note that the father of the children is now said to have been born inTennessee, not North Carolina.  In 1930, George's parents are bothreported as born in Missouri.  We know from other family anddocumentary sources that his father born in North Carolina and hismother in Arkansas, where his parents met.

    George got married to Thelma Musten on 21 February 1917 in Stuttgart,Arkansas.

    Arkansas, County Marriages Index, 1837-1957
    G B McSwain
    Age: 30, Est Birth Year 1887
    Residence Stuttgart, Arkansas, Arkansas
    Spouse's Name Thelma Musten
    Spouse's Age 20
    Spouse's Residence Stuttgart, Arkansas, Arkansas
    Marriage 21 Feb 1917 Arkansas County
    Marriage License Date: 21 Feb 1917

    But they moved soon to Memphis, where we find in 1918 he was workingas a machinist for a railroad company.

    World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
    George Burton McSwain
    Birth 26 Aug 1884 [no location stated
    Residence 1029 Rayburn, Memphis, Tennessee
    Occupation Machinist Helper, IC Railroad
    Nearest Relative Thelma McSwain [wife], same address
    Tall Medium Build, Blue Eyes, Brown Hair
    Registration 12 Sept 1918 Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee
    Signed George Burton McSwain

    Their grandson James B McSwain says that his father John WilliamMcSwain was born in Stuttgart.  It may be that George's wife went backto Stuttgart to have the baby at her parent's home, while Georgestayed in Memphis to work.  Maybe George did not stay in Memphis verylong in his work with the railroad.

    "My father, John William McSwain, was born in Stuttgart, AR, in 1919;his father was George (Burton?) McSwain, also called "Slim." He hadsome brothers and sisters near DeWitt, AR. He was an oil/water welldriller, and died in Columbus, Ohio, in 1947-48."
    --  James B. McSwain, McSwain Family Genealogy Forum, 03 November1999, http://genforum.genealogy.com/mcswain/messages/220.html

    Notice that James is uncertain about his grandfather's middle name.But now the WWI draft registration card quoted above confirms thatGeorge's middle name was Burton.

    They went to Texas over the next year or so, where they are inPlainview, Hall County, for the January 1920 census.  But they areback in Arkansas County in 1930.

    1920 Federal Census, Hall County, Texas, 28 January, District 107, p4B, Hse #63, Fam #64
    McSwain, George B  Head Rents M W 36  Mar AR NC NC  Runs Cotton Gin
    McSwain, Thelma  Wife F W 22  Mar  TN TN TN
    McSwain, John  Son M W 1yr 8 mos AR AR TN

    In 1930, George and Thelma are back in Stuttgart, Arkansas.  In thiscensus, both of George's parents are reported as born in Missouri.  Icannot figure out why.

    1930 Federal Census, Arkansas County, Arkansas, 14 April, District 8,p 9A, Stuttgart, 520 N Grand Ave, Hse #183, Fam #215
    McSwain, George B  M W 45  Married 13yrs AR MO MO  Well Driller
    McSwain, Thelma  F W 33  Married 13yrs  TN TN TN
    McSwain, John W  M W 12 AR AR TN

    George moved up to Ohio to work in the oil fields.  In 1935, Georgewas listed in the Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, reported as an oilwell driller.

    U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989
    Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1935, p 724
    McSwain George B well driller  r 117 S Cypress Ave

    There is one other McSwain family, Captain McSwain and his wife Belle,living in another part of Columbus.  These are the only two famliyunits of the surname McSwain reported in the whole city.  In 1935, MrsBell McSwain is reported alone, without a mention of her deceasedhusband. The directories normally list this by (wid <hsband name)> .George is living a couple of houses down the street now, if thedirectory has his street number right.

    U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989
    Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1935, p 770
    McSwain George B well driller  r 111 S Cypress Ave

    U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989
    Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1935, p 787
    McSwain George B driller Layne Ohio r 117 S Dakota Ave

    The 1940 census also reports that George and Thelma have beendivorced.  Meanwhile Thelma was enumerated in 1940 census in hergrandmother's household in Memphis,Tennessee, her home area, aloingwith her widowed mother.

    Oddly, Thelma McSwain is reported there as Married, not Divorced.  Ihave not found the divorce record.  I do not have any furtherinformation on Thelma Mustin McSwain after the 1940 census, until herdeath information in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1984.

    In 1940, the census he was living in Columbus, Ohio, in 1935.  atcensus time he is boarding with a family named Stutzman in the town ofRittman, in the northern part of the state.

    1940 Federal Census, Wayne County, Ohio, 8 April, Rittman Village,District 85-29, page 5B, 170 N Main St, Hse #108, Rents $19
    McSwain, George Lodger M W 56 Divorced Grade 8 b Arkansas Columbus OHin 1935 Oil Driller [b abt 1884]

    The next record I find for George is his WWII draft registration card,in 1942, when he registered for the draft in registered in Columbus,Ohio.

    U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942
    George Burton McSwain
    Birth 26 Aug 1884 Ethel, Arkansas
    Residence 117 Dakota Ave, Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio
    Employer Layne Ohio Water Supply, Columbus
    Reference person Mrs. H A Kendrick, 1870 Gains St, Little Rock AR
    Signed Geo McSwain

    There are records for a George McSwain that match George Burton, andhis death record reports that his father's name was William W, anotherimportant match.  But the birth date reported in the Ohio records is26 October 1884, rather than 26 August 1884.  And his WWIIregistration indicated he was there on a temporary assignment, sincethe contact address he gave was in Little Rock.  But otherwise, I havenot found any death or burial record for George.

    Discrepancies like this are pretty common in that era.  And otherwise,other records strengthen his identificaiotn with Ohio, including theresidence sand death of his son John W McSwain in Columbus.  JHohjn';sson reprots his father died there.  No death or burial record has beenfound for John.

    George's memorial on Find a Grave was updated 12 June 2015 withinformation I provided.

    George Burton "Slim" McSwain
    Birth Oct. 26, 1884 Ethel, Arkansas County, Arkansas
    Death Mar. 23, 1948 Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio
    Burial Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio
    Created by Dave Davisson Jun 15, 2011
    --  Find A Grave Memorial #71393318,http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=MCS&GSpartial=1&GSbyrel=all&GSst=37&GScntry=4&GSsr=241&GRid=71393318&&ftm=1

    McSwain, George Burton  Birth 10/26/1884  Death 03/23/1948 FatherMcSwain, William W
    --  Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio, Burial Register,http://greenlawn.delaohio.com/greenlawn/greenlawndata/m.txt?ftm=1


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