George B MCSWAIN Wiley Carew MCSWAIN Callie D MCSWAIN Matthew Oliver MCSWAIN Bernetta Octavia MCSWAIN Stella D MCSWAIN Ruth Alma MCSWAIN James Marvin MCSWAIN Thad Mathew MCSWAIN Wirt Barnard MCSWAIN Katherine L MCSWAIN Bruce B MCSWAIN Ruth L LOWREY Martha Annie PADGETT Harriet L PADGETT Mini tree diagram
James Magnus MCSWAIN

James Magnus MCSWAIN1,2,11,4,5,12,6,6,7,8

1st Jan 18851,2,3,4,5,6,7,6,8 - 15th Oct 194110

Life History

1st Jan 1885

Born in Arkansas.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,6,8

24th Nov 1904

Married Ruth L LOWREY in Arkansas County, Arkansas.6

13th Sep 1905

Birth of daughter Bernetta Octavia MCSWAIN in Arkansas.13,1,14,4,6,6,15,8

19th Feb 1908

Birth of daughter Stella D MCSWAIN in Arkansas.1,8

30th Jul 1910

Birth of daughter Ruth Alma MCSWAIN in Arkansas.14,6,4,16,17,18

14th May 1913

Birth of son James Marvin MCSWAIN in Arkansas.8,4,19,16

2nd May 1914

Death of daughter Stella D MCSWAIN in Ethel, Arkansas, Arkansas.8

27th Oct 1916

Birth of son Thad Mathew MCSWAIN in Ethel, Arkansas, Arkansas.20,21,22,7,4,23,24,6,25

6th Apr 1919

Birth of son Wirt Barnard MCSWAIN in Ethel, Arkansas, Arkansas.13,26,27,8,28,29,4


Death of daughter Katherine L MCSWAIN in Arkansas County, Arkansas.8

28th Sep 1922

Birth of daughter Katherine L MCSWAIN in Arkansas County, Arkansas.8

18th Oct 1923

Birth of son Bruce B MCSWAIN in Arkansas.8,30,2

7th Aug 1924

Death of Ruth L LOWREY in Ethel, Arkansas, Arkansas.31,8

3rd Feb 1928

Married Martha Annie PADGETT in Jefferson County, Arkansas.6

15th Oct 1941

Died in Arkansas County, Arkansas.9,8

(most likely)

after 15th Oct 1941

Buried in Mt Pleasant Cemetery, Ethel, Arkansas County, Arkansas.8

Other facts


Name2: James A McSwain.3


Died in He died by suicide.10


  • The 1900 census gives the name James A as a brother of Wiley, Callie and Matthew O.  James A is reported to be 15 years old, which would mean a birth year of about 1885, matching the birth year of James Magnus), born 1 January 1885.

    James (A) McSwain appears as the brother of Wiley Carew, listed here as Carew Wiley.  Carew is the head of the household after both their parents have passed away.  Their father George died in April before this June census.

    1900 Federal Census, Arkansas County, Arkansas, 15 June, Prairie Township, District 7, page 11B, Hse #146, Fam #141
    McSwain, Carew W Head W M July 1877  22 AR NC NC Farmer
    McSwain, Callie D  Sister W F Dec 1879  20  AR NC NC
    McSwain, Mathew O  Brother W M July 1882  17  AR NC NC
    McSwain, James A  [James M] Brother W M Jan 1885  15 AR NC NC

    In the 1910 Census, Arkansas County, Arkansas, census, he is listed only as James McSwain.  The 1920 census gives the name as James M.  This is also the name on the gravestone in Mt Pleasant Cemetery, Ethel, Arkansas.  I learned in January 2008 from public documents that had become available on that his middle name was Magnus.

    James McSwain married to Ruth Lowrey on 24 November 1904.

    Arkansas, County Marriages Index, 1837-1957
    J M McSwain
    Age 19, Birth Year abt 1885
    Residence Ethel, Arkansas, Arkansas
    Ruth Lowrey
    Spouse's Age 17
    Spouse's Residence Ethel, Arkansas, Arkansas
    Marriage 24 November 1904 Arkansas County
    Marriage License Date 23 Nov 1904

    Another index entry has Jim's name nickname instead of just his initials, but has less total information.

    Arkansas, County Marriages Index, 1837-1957
    Jim McSwain, Residence Ethel, Arkansas
    Ruth Lowrey
    Marriage Date Nov 1904

    In the 1910 census James and Ruth were enumerated with their two daughters.

    1910 Federal Census, Arkansas County, Arkansas, 20 April, Prairie Township, District 13, Page 3A, House #121
    Fam #125, McSwain, James Head M W 25  Married 5 years AR NC NC Farmer
    McSwain, Ruth L  Wife F W 33  Married 5 years AR IN AR
    McSwain, Bernetta Dau F W 4 AR AR AR
    McSwain, Stella  Dau F W 2 AR AR AR

    Stella lived only a few years.  We find her grave in Mt Pleasant Cemetery in Ethel, Prairie Township, Arkansas County.  Her date of death given there is 2 May 1914.

    I see that in 1910, Ruth's birthplace is reported as Arkansas, but in 1920 it is Oklahoma.  We know from other information that she was born in Indian Territory, so the 1910 census is wrong.  See Lowry family Notes.

    1920 Federal Census, Arkansas County, Arkansas, 4 February, District 16, Page 7A, Ethel & Chute Rd, House #121
    Fam #125, McSwain, James M  Head M W 35 AR NC NC Farmer
    McSwain, Ruth L  Wife F W 33 OK IN AR
    McSwain, Bernetta O  Dau F W 14 AR AR OK Farm Laborer
    McSwain, Ruth A  Dau F W 9 AR AR OK
    McSwain, Marvin J  Son M W 6 AR AR OK
    McSwain, Thad M  Son F W 3yrs 2mos AR AR OK
    McSwain, Wirt B  Son F W 8- 1/12 [this should read 9 months] AR AR OK

    Wirt B was born in 6 April 1919.  This should make his age 9 months in February 1920.  The enumerator must have had the right idea, but wrote it as though it was 8 years (instead of 8 months in the previous year) plus the one month of 1920.

    James Magnus (Jim) was married to Ruth Lowery (spelled Lawery in some family documents and on her tombstone).  Ruth died in 1924.  Jim married widow Annie Padgett McSwain sometime between 1920 and 1930.  Annie's first husband Robert McSwain died in January 1920, right after the 1920 census (in early January that year).  In the 1930 census they are married and Annie's three younger daughters, Elsie, Nina and Hazel Bob, are living with them.  There were no children from this marriage.

    Bobby Butler research says middle initial is M.  There was some uncertainty about the middle name; family members thought it might be Marvin, like his son.  I could not get any information at that point from the direct family members to clarify this.  In January 2008, I found James' WWI Draft Registration card online.  This clarifies that his middle name was Magnus.

    In 1930, we find that James' first wife has died, and he has married a widow.  His new wife is Martha Annie Padgett McSwain, widow of Robert Perry McSwain, a son of Phillip K McSwain, one of the original McSwain pioneers.  Robert is a cousin of James Magnus, whose father is George B McSwain.  James and Mattie have merged their families into one large household.

    1930 Federal Census, Arkansas County, Arkansas, 22 April, District 25, page 6B, Prairie Township, Ethel & Point Rd, Hse #125, Fam #126
    McSwain, James M  Head M W 45 AR NC NC Farmer
    McSwain, Mattie A  Wife F W 43 AR NC TN
    McSwain, That M  Son M W 13 AR AR OK
    McSwain, Wurt B  Son M W  11 AR AR OK
    McSwain, Bruce B  Son M W  6 AR AR OK
    McSwain, Elsie E  Step-Dau F W 20 AR AR AR
    McSwain, Nina M  Step-Dau F W 14 AR AR AR
    McSwain, Hazel Bob Step-Dau F W 11 AR AR AR
    Rowland, Walton Cousin M W 18 AR KY AR Farm Laborer

    The latter person is the son of Maggie E McSwain Rowland Porter, a daughter of Phillip McSwain, and thus a sister of Robert Perry.

    1940 Federal Census, Arkansas County, Arkansas, 8 April, Ethel, District 26, page 3B, Belleview Rd, Hse #48, Owns Farm, Value $800
    McSwain, Jim Head M W 55 Grade 6 b Alabama lived in same house in 1935 Farmer
    McSwain, Annie Wife F W 53 Grade 8 b Arkansas same house in 1935 Housekeeper
    McSwain, Bruce  Son M W 16 Single Grade 6 b Arkansas same house in 1935 Farm Laborer
    Wycough, Elsie Dau F W 30 Single Grade 1 b Arkansas DeWitt in 1935 Housekeeper
    Wycough, Perrie Grandson M W 1 Single Grade 0 b Arkansas No location rptd in 1935
    Wycough, Paul Franklin Grandson M W 3mos Single Grade 0 b Arkansas No location rptd in 1935

    Jim died by suicide.  The date on his gravestone gives the date of death as 15 Oct 1944.  It appears, however, that there was first a 1 (1941) then a 4 was carved over it.  I first dismissed this as a prominent flaw in the gravestone, until I found the record in the Arkansas Death Index.  The date of death on that register is 15 October 1941!  Correlating with this is the report of his age at death as 56.

    Gravestone of James M McSwain
    James M McSwain
    Jan 1, 1885 - Oct 15, 1941
    [the date appears to be originally 1941, overengraved with a final 4, so it reads as 1944, over 1941; Arkansas death record says 1941]
    Mt Pleasant Cemetery, Ethel, Arkansas
    Photos by Orville Jenkins and Edith McSwain Jenkins, 2003 and 2017


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