Thomas MCSWAIN William D MCSWAIN Hannah MCSWAIN Judith MCSWAIN George MCSWAIN Burwell Blanton MCSWAIN Cynthia MCSWAIN Permelia Jane MCSWAIN Doctor Franklin MCSWAIN Rebecca MCSWAIN Permelia MCSWAIN Thomas MCSWAIN Frances W BRIDGES Mini tree diagram

Elizabeth MCSWAIN1,2,3,6,4

about 18291,2,3,4,5 - 18742,6

Life History

about 1829

Born in Rutherford County, North Carolina.1,2,3,4,5

7th Oct 1855

Married Burwell Blanton MCSWAIN in Cleveland County, North Carolina.2

about 1857

Birth of daughter Cynthia MCSWAIN in Cleveland County, North Carolina.6,3,7

29th Dec 1861

Birth of daughter Permelia Jane MCSWAIN in Cleveland County, North Carolina.6,8,5

7th Apr 1869

Birth of son Doctor Franklin MCSWAIN in Cleveland County, North Carolina.9,6,10


Died in Cleveland County, North Carolina.2,6


  • The 1850 census reports Elizabeth as 21 years old, making her birth year about 1829.  According to David Holden and other genealogies, Elizabeth married Hugh Kerr Roberts.  But the wife of Hugh is enumerated with him in the 1850 census, where she is reported to be age 30. In later censuses with Hugh, she is reported of an age to match the birth date given below by Holden, 21 Oct 1821.  So if Hugh's wife is the daughter of Thomas and Frances, who is the Elizabeth in their household in 1850, who was 21, and thus born about 1829?

    Douglas McSwain solves the mystery by connecting Thomas and Frances' daughter Elizabeth with Burwell Blanton McSwain as her husband.  The Hamrick Data Pages also reports a Burwell married to Eliza born about 1828.  (Perhaps there were two daughters, one named Elizabeth in 1821 and one named the similar Eliza in 1829, but I have not been able to confirm this yet outside Holden's genealogy.)

    Elizabeth McSwain
    Birth 1829 in NC, Death 1874 in Cleveland County, NC
    Parents Thomas McSwain 1796 - 1872, Frances Bridges 1793 - 1862
    Marriage 7 Oct 1855 Cleveland County, NC to Burwell Blanton McSwain
    Birth 15 JUL 1829 in Rutherford(Cleveland) County, NC, Death 13 SEP 1903 in Cleveland County, NC
    --  Douglas McSwain,

    The marriage date Douglas has is a puzzle, since censuses show that Burwell married Louisa Jane Hamrick, his second wife, about the time he gives here for the marriage to Burwell's first wife Eliza (Elizabeth?) McSwain.  So Eliza or Elizabeth died about 1854,a nd the marriage in 1855 was to Louisa Jane Hamrick, as reported by the Hamrick Data Pages, and confirmed by the 1870 census.  It may be that Eliza, who is Burwell's wife in the 1860 census.  Doug does not report the death of Eliza or a second marriage.

    Doug further reports that Burwell's parents are William McSwain (b 1792) and Mary Nancy Bridges.

    McSwain, Burwell (*1826 - )
    spouse: McSwain, Eliza (*1828 - )
    ----------child: McSwain, Doctor F (*1860 - )
    ----------child: McSwain, Jane (1861 - 1926)
    ----------child: McSwain, Cinthia (*1863 - )
    -- Hamrick Data Pages,

    This looks good at first glance, but then in comparing the Hamrick Data to Douglas' data, there appears a discrepancy.  The Hamrick Data immediately has another entry for a different Burwell McSwain, whose birthday is in 1828.

    McSwain, Burwell (1828 - )
    b. 1828 in Rutherford, NC
    spouse: Hamrick, Jane (~1834 - ) [They may have the wrong Jane Hamrick, also, since census shows Louisa J the same age as Burwell]
    - m. Abt 1855
    -- Hamrick Data Pages,

    The birthday given by Douglas McSwain appears to match the second entry by Hamrick, whose Burwell was born about 1828.  But this Burwell is married to Louisa J Hamrick  I have found this couple in the census of 1880.  Censuses clear up the matter to show that, in fact, this is only one Burwell B McSwain, who was married to Eliza in the 1870 census, but afterwards his wife is Louisa J (Louisa Jane Hamrick).  It appears that the Hamrick Data has estimated the date of marriage to Louisa Jame Hamrick incorrectly, since Burwell's wife in 1870 is Eliza (McSwain) and Louisa J  is the wife in the 1880 census and the 1900 census.

    Eliza (Elizabeth) died sometime between the 1870 and 1880 censuses, probably we can say about 1874 and assume marriage to Louisa about 1875.  But I have not found a record of the actual date of Eliza's death or Louisa's marriage.  This sequence is confirmed in the 1900 census, when Louisa J is again reported as Burwell's wife and Burwell and Louisa J are living in the household of Burwell's son Doctor.  In this report, Louisa is reported as Doctor's stepmother.  (Doctor's unusual name is scrawled poorly in this census entry, and is partly overwritten by the census-master's later tally notes, leading to a garbled transcription by

    Thus we can take the exact birth date reported by Doug McSwain (from North Carolina records he cites), and acknowledge that the estimated years of birth by Hamrick are in error in both cases, and the two marriages of Burwell McSwain involve the same Burwell.  (Burwell's name also appears as Burrell in the 1850 census and some genealogies.  The name appears in the related Padgett and others, sometimes spelled Burl.)


    There is still an outside possibility that Thomas and Frances did have two separate daughters they named forms of this same name, as David Holden proposes.  Perhaps they did not consider Eliza a form of Elizabeth and named two of their daughters these two forms of the same name.


  • 1. 1850 Federal Census, Cleveland County, North Carolina
    • 4 September, p 315 (scan 158), Hse/Fam #595
  • 2. Ancestry Trees
    • Douglas McSwain,
  • 3. 1860 Federal Census, Cleveland County, North Carolina
    • 10 August, page 66, Hse/Fam #468
  • 4. Hamrick Data Pages
  • 5. North Carolina, Deaths, 1906-1930
  • 6. 1870 Federal Census, Cleveland County, North Carolina
    • 13 July, Township 3, PO Stices Shoals, page 15 (scan 116), Hse #111, Fam #117
  • 7. 1880 Federal Census, Cleveland County, North Carolina
    • 3 June, Township 2, District 66, page 6 (Scan 471B), Hse #49, Fam #52
  • 8. Find a Grave Memorial Registry
  • 9. Ancestry Trees
    • Douglas McSwain,
  • 10. 1900 Federal Census, Cleveland County, North Carolina
    • 12 June, Boiling Springs, Township 2, District 49, page 4A, Hse #59, Fam #60

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