William David MCSWAIN Charles MCSWAIN Margaret MCSWAIN Catherine ROBERTSON Jane MCSWAIN Thomas M MCSWAIN Rebecca COWART Priscilla MCSWAIN William David MCSWAIN Benjamin MCSWAIN Jonathan MCSWAIN Elizabeth MCSWAIN Charles MCSWAIN James MCSWAIN Susanna HAMRICK Mini tree diagram
John David MCSWAIN

John David MCSWAIN2,4

17501,2 - Dec 18383

Life History


Born in Virginia.1,2

before 1785

Death of Rebecca COWART


Married Catherine ROBERTSON in Virginia.15

13th Aug 1786

Birth of son Charles MCSWAIN in Rutherford County, North Carolina.12,13,14


Birth of daughter Margaret MCSWAIN.13,13

between Aug 1795 and 1796

Death of Catherine ROBERTSON in Rutherford County, North Carolina.3

about 1796

Married Rebecca COWART in North Carolina.3

about 1814

Birth of daughter Jane MCSWAIN in North Carolina.5,6

16th Mar 1821

Birth of son Thomas M MCSWAIN in Rutherford County, North Carolina.7,1,8,9,10,11

Dec 1838

Died in York District, South Carolina.3


  • John David McSwain is reported as David McSwain in some sources and genealogies.  There is some discrepancy between sources on whether David and his brother William David were born in Orange County, North Carolina or in Virginia.  Some sources express uncertainty between these two locations for the sister Priscilla, which some sources do not list in the genealogy.  Due to the line of migration from Pennsylvania to North Carolina, there is reason to believe that the older son David was born in Virginia.

    It appears that some compilers have confused two lines of McSwains, which have similar names.  For instance, Charles who married Lurany (Lewraner) Washburn, is shown by one or two as the son of a David McSwain who was born in 1734, rather than this David, whom I have tentatively identified as John David, born in 1750 and his wife Catherine Robinson.  Because of the variation of ages and dates in many public sources and even greater variation in family sources and undocumented genealogies filling the gaps, I may have some plugged in here incorrectly.

    Paul Sarrett has earlier dates than some sources on certain siblings in this generation.  Paul reports David as the first child, born in 1750, while others lack a date.  The Lawson genealogy also follows the date of 1750 for David.  Paul has a date of birth for Priscilla in 1756, while others have 1768.  Some sources have dates on only some.  Most have no date on the marriage, so I have used Paul's early birth date for David and his estimated marriage date based on that, "Before 1750."

    Here is a list of David's children with his two wives from one genealogy.  Some genealogies record two daughters named Nancy, one born in 1782 and one 1817, and some additional children of Rebecca.

    Catherine Robertson was born about 1754 in Virginia. She married David McSwain.
    (Other marriages:  Bradford, Darnell)
    They had the following children:

    M i Charles McSwain was born on 13 Aug 1786. He died on 19 Dec 1848.
    F ii Margaret McSwain was born in 1792. She died in 1872.
    F iii Elizabeth McSwain was born about 1784.

    Rebecca Cowart was born in 1754 in Virginia. She died after 1839. She married David McSwain about 1780 in York Co., South Carolina
    They had the following children:

    M i George McSwain I was born about 1797. He died in 1834.
    M ii Thomas McSwain was born on 16 Mar 1821. He died on 21 Sep 1899.
    M iii James S. McSwain was born in 1802. He died in 1892.
    F iv Jane McSwain was born on 24 Mar 1811. She died on 11 Jul 1886.
    F v Nancy J. McSwain was born in 1817. She died in 1860.
    --  Carolina Genealogy, http://carolinagenealogy.org/all/pafg48.htm#51827

    In the 1800 census there are three McSwain households (spelled McSwaine) next to each other in York District of South Carolina (just across the border from Rutherford, North Carolina).  The names and ages present discrepancies from the received dates of birth, but these appear to be three sons of William David McSwain who was born in about 1725 and died in about 1780.  They are John, David and Jonathan.

    Jonathan at first clearly appears to be the son born in about 1770, as this is the only Jonathan I am aware of at that time.  But the age range for Jonathan is 16-15, and he should be about 30 at this time.  I have found that there was a Jonathan McSwain form the Baltimore McSwains and this may be an instance of the two families being confused (by me this time).  The Baltimore Jonathan was born 1758.  But some of these individuals and generations may be correct, filling the gap of the long years of birth of children shown in most sources as the children of William David McSwain, so on the David born in the ocean voyage from Skye.  More analysis of these lines needs to be done to satisfy my goals.

    The one named David matches the age range expected for William David, but he usually went by William in documents we have.  But this John David normally went by David and is known as David in some sources.  But he is the only one who might be called John also.  Thus John appears to match John David, born in about 1750.  None of these McSwain neighbors is reported as that old.  In the 1800 census, John's age is reported in the range of 25-44, the oldest age group of any of these three.

    1800 Federal Census, York District, South Carolina, page 962 (scan 626)
    John McSwaine  1 male 16-25, 1 male 26-44
    2 females under 10, 1 female 26-44


  • 1. RootsWeb Trees
  • 2. Ancestry Trees
    • Lawson Family Tree http://awtc.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=:2223652&id=I116922968
  • 3. David Sr McSwain Genealogy, Anonymous, source uncertain
  • 4. Genealogy.com Discussion Forum
    • Provides name of Catherine Robertson, and provides first name of her husband John McSwain (also known as John David McSwain)
  • 5. 1880 Federal Census, Cleveland County, North Carolina
    • 14 June, Township 3, Rippys, District 12, page 67 (scan 494C), Hse/Fam #210
  • 6. 1860 Federal Census, Cleveland County, North Carolina
    • 13 August, page 71 (scan 440), Hse/Fam #504
  • 7. 1880 Federal Census, Cleveland County, North Carolina
    • 14 June, Township 2, District 66, page 22B, Hse#204, Fam #211
  • 8. Rutherford/Cleveland County, NC, Burial Information
    • Name: Name: http://www.rfci.net/wdfloyd/cemm5.html;;
  • 9. 1870 Federal Census, Cleveland County, North Carolina
    • 8 September, Township 2, PO Mooresboro, page 5 (scan 132), Hse/Fam #35
  • 10. 1860 Federal Census, Cleveland County, North Carolina
    • 21 August, page 160 (scan p 396), Hse/Fam #1153
  • 11. 1850 Federal Census, Cleveland County, North Carolina
    • 28 August, page 297 (scan p 149), Hse/Fam #475
  • 12. Ancestry Trees
    • Kari Upchurch, http://awtc.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=:2223652&id=I116922952
  • 13. Find a Grave Memorial Registry
  • 14. South Carolina, Death Records, 1821-1965
  • 15. World Family Tree Vol. 129
    • Pedigree #809

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