Richard E MCSWAIN Sarah Elizabeth MCSWAIN Burton MCSWAIN Jefferson MCSWAIN George Franklin MCSWAIN John Allison MCSWAIN Charlie MCSWAIN Jane C MCSWAIN Russell Arbery MCSWAIN Mary G MCSWAIN George Washington MCSWAIN Wallace MCSWAIN Mary J MCSWAIN Mary Polly WEATHERS Mini tree diagram

John Franklin MCSWAIN4,2,1,6,7,5,8

18414 - about 18805

Life History


Born in North Carolina.5

(less likely)

between 1839 and 1860

Resident in Cleveland County, North Carolina.4,1

about 1840

Born in North Carolina

(less likely)


Born in Cleveland County, North Carolina.1,2,3

(most likely)

about 1843

Born in North Carolina.4

(less likely)

20th Feb 1863

Military: Enlisted 55 North Carolina Infantry, Company D, Private in Cleveland County, North Carolina

about 1868

Married Mary G MCSWAIN in Giles County, Tennessee.5

29th Sep 1869

Birth of son George Franklin MCSWAIN in Tennessee.9,10,11,12,13,14,15,5


Residence2 in Prairie Township (Ethel), Arkansas County, Arkansas.5

22nd Oct 1873

Birth of son John Allison MCSWAIN in Arkansas.16,17,18,19,20,14,21

about 1875

Birth of son Charlie MCSWAIN in Arkansas County, Arkansas

Mar 1878

Birth of daughter Jane C MCSWAIN in Prairie Township, Arkansas, Arkansas.22,23,24,25,22

Apr 1879

Birth of son Russell Arbery MCSWAIN in Arkansas.26,27,28,29,22

about 1880

Died in St Charles, Arkansas, Arkansas.5

about 1880



  • 1850 Federal Census, Cleveland County, North Carolina, 4 September, page 157, Hse/Fam #587
    Richard McSwain 38 M  Farmer born North Carolina (b abt 1812)
    Polly McSwain 36 F NC (b abt 1814)
    John McSwain 17 NC

    1860 Federal Census, Cleveland County, North Carolina, 7 August, page 60 (scan 434), Hse/Fam #425
    Richard E McSwain 48 M Farmer NC (born abt 1812)
    Mary [Weathers] McSwain 40 F NC [b abt 1820]
    John F McSwain 17 M Farm Laborer NC

    U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865
    J. F. McSwain
    Residence Cleveland County, North Carolina, North Carolina
    Birth abt 1842, Occupation Farmer
    Confederate, 55 North Carolina Infantry, Company D, Private
    Enlisted 20 Feb 1863 Cleveland County, North Carolina
    Age at Enlistment 21

    1870 Federal Census, Arkansas County, Arkansas, 4 July, Prairie Township, PO St Charles, page 15, Hse/Fam #118
    McSwane, John F 30 M W Farm Laborer $No Real Estate $140 Personal Estate NC (b abt 1840)
    McSwane, Mary 26 F W Keeping House NC (b abt 1844)
    McSwane, George F 9mos  b Oct 1869 M W Tennessee

    I note that the son George F was born in Tennessee, but is only 9 months old.  Thus they moved to Arkansas after October 1869.  This means they traveled in the Winter or more likely Spring to be there by July.  John's cousin Francis, a son of Catherine Weathers McSwain, probably traveled from Tennessee to Arkansas with John and Mary.  Catherine and the rest of her children are enumerated in Giles County, Tennessee, in this 1870 census.

    John and Mary got married sometime after the 1860 census, when he was a 17-year-old, still living with his folks in Cleveland County, North Carolina.  I have not yet found information on when they moved to Tennessee or how long they were there before moving on to Arkansas.

    Next door to John is his cousin Virgil Weathers.  On the other side of John is another cousin Francis McSwain, a single farmer.  The names of both McSwain families are spelled McSwane, as some families spell their name today.  Another spelling was McSweyn.

    1870 Federal Census, Arkansas County, Arkansas, 4 July, Prairie Township, PO St Charles, page 15, Hse/Fam #117
    Weathers, Virgil 30 M W Farmer $160 Personal Estate b SC (b abt 1840)
    Weathers, Sarah 26 F W Keeping House b NC (b abt 1844)
    Weathers, George W 4 M W b Tennessee (b abt 1866)

    Another McSwain researcher, David Holden in Germany, comments on this in one of our email exchanges.

    "John F. McSwain.  I don't have any proof, but my guess is he is John Franklin, the son of Richard E. McSwain and Mary Weathers.  In 1870 Francis McSwain is living on one side of John F.  Look who is living on the other side.  Is that just coincidence?  Although Virgil Weathers was from South Carolina, his father R.B. Weathers was born about 1810 in NC and could easily have been Mary Weathers' brother.  That would make Virgil and John F. 1st cousins once removed."
    --  David Holden, email to Orville Boyd Jenkins, 15 October 2007

    In the 1870 census, John's wife Mary G matches a cousin Mary (Polly) G McSwain, daughter of George McSwain and Catherine Weathers.  No other record reports a spouse for them.  Their personal details and the dates and places of both their families matches these two who otherwise have no spouses.  First and second cousin marriages are common in the McSwain lineage and related families in North Carolina (Rutherford and Cleveland Counties in North Carolina and York and Cherokee Counties in South Carolina).

    At this point, I did find such a connection in an online McSwain genealogy, by Howard Randy Martin, which had made the same connection since the last time I had seen that genealogy. Martin's genealogy also had an 1880 census for a John and Mary McSwain in Calhoun County, Mississippi.  But this 1880 census family inMississippi is not the same correct family.  John's age differs, his birthplace is South Carolina instead of North Carolina and his Mary was born in Georgia instead of North Carolina.  In addition, the children have different names.

    I have found no record for our John and Mary in the 1880 census.  I suspect that John died early 1880 or even 1879.  The last child, Russell Arberry, was born in 1879, according to the 1900 census, though the date on his gravestone is 1881.  The latter seems to be an error.

    There is a John T, who could be the son named John, reported by Judy McSwain Miller.  But there is no George, who was less than 2 years old in 1870 in Arkansas County, and several older children who should have been in the 1870 census.  This makes John older than would seem right.  There is no Charles.  Francis and Elijah don't figure in this family in any other references to our John and Mary.  And we have nothing else to tie them to Mississippi.

    George Franklin McSwain's death certificate reports different parents' names than other sources, giving the names of George and Ida McSwain.  Mary (Polly) apparently was known by the nickname Ida as well as Polly.  Her maiden name was also McSwain.  Her parents were George McSwain and Catherine Weathers.  I have found that very much information on many death certificates is very ad hoc, incomplete names or downright incorrect.  It depends on the informant and how specifically aware they were of the details.

    The informant was George's son Russell Murphy McSwain, so you would think he had accurate information.  Russell reports that George's parents were George McSwain and Ida McSwain.  But others family sources indicate that George Franklin's parents were John Franklin McSwain and Mary (Polly) G "Ida" McSwain.  Some genealogies report that Mary (Polly) G McSwain also had the nickname of Ida.  So this may be correct for his mother's name on his death certificate.  George is such a common name in the whole McSwain lineage, his son may have just got the name of his grandfather wrong.

    Many details and several family genealogies support John F McSwain as George's father.  I think because George is so common in this McSwain lineage, the informant just got the name George substituted for John.  And it just as likely that the coroner just wrote it down wrong, confusing the deceased's name George with his father's name John.  There is no George and alternative Ida that could have been parents of a George McSwain that might match.

    All the siblings, places and family details match the son of John Franklin McSwain and Mary G "Ida" McSwain.  This transcription of his death certificate was included on George's memorial on Find a Grave:    --  Find A Grave Memorial #83662203,

    Texas Death Certificate
    George F McSwain
    Residence Seagraves, Gaines, Texas
    Rooming House Operator
    Death 16 Apr 1947 Plains-St.Mary's Hosp, Lubbock, Lubbock, Texas
    Cause of death acute cardiac dilation, contributory arteriosclerosis and prostatic obstruction
    Death Age 77 years 6 months 19 days
    Birth 27 Sep 1869 North Carolina [all censuses but one report Tennessee, one says Arkansas]
    Father's Name George McSwain, born  North Carolina
    Mother's Name Ida McSwain (Correct Maiden), born North Carolina
    Informant Russel McSwain (son)
    Burial Seagraves, Texas, 17 Apr 1947 by Joe H Webb Funeral Home, Seagaves, Texas
    Certificate #17858 filed 23 April 1947, filed State 7 May 1947
    --  Find A Grave Memorial #83662203,


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