Photo Identification and David Swayze

Photo Identification – Is it really David Swayze?

There are very few things in genealogical research as exciting as finding a photograph, painting, or drawing of an ancestor. I was researching David Swayze, one of my wife’s third great grandparents. I was excited.  I saw where several people have attached the image to David Swayze (b. 1796). I also saw where someone attached the same photo to another David Swayze (born in the 1600s.) From the clothing the individual in the photo is wearing, it is clear that the photo/ isn’t from the 1600s.  Then I thought about whether this is really an image of my David Swayze. David’s uncle was Judge David Swayze. My thoughts immediately went to the two Davids and how the two could be uniquely identified in a photograph.  I looked through all the sources for this photo I could find and none of the sources appeared to have any provenance or history with the on-line version of the photo. I have emailed the two individuals that seem to have the first postings of the photo to see if they have any provenance about the photo and/or how they differentiated Judge David Swayze (1762-1838) from David Swayze (1796-1850) – Or David C. Swayze, born circa 1840, for that matter.  (I think I know but I don’t want to assume anything.)
My thought is, don’t assume that a photo that is purported to be a particular individual is that individual without provenance or, at least, some kind of identifier information.
DH50 – David  Swayze
10 June 1796 – 25 September 1850
David  Swayze[i] was born on 10 June 1796 in Morris County, New Jersey[ii]; he died on 25 September 1850 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, aged 54[iii]. He was buried on 29 September 1850 in Kalamazoo at the Mountain Home Cemetery[iv].
He is the first son (second child) of Amos Swayze (1767-1839), aged 29, and Henrietta Chrisfield.

Siblings

It appears that he may have had an older sister, Cornelia. Her birth date is unknown.

Survive a PC disaster
1798 – Birth of his sister Elizabeth on 9 June 1798.

1800 – Birth of his sister Jane on 11 June 1800.
1803 – Birth of his sister Alice 9 September 1803.
1806 – Birth of his sister Polly 16 June 1806; Polly died 12 days later on 28 June 1806.
1807 – Death of his eight-year-old sister, Elizabeth in March 1807.
1807 – Birth of his sister Nancy 12 June 1807.
1809 – Celebration for young David, finally after six sisters a brother, Samuel C. was born on 28 August 1809.
1811 – Birth of another sister, Eleanor A., on 9 Dec 1811.
1814 – Birth of an eighth sister, Mary, on 22 Nov 1814.
1817 – Saw the birth of a second brother, Aaron Chrisfield, on 17 Jan 1817.
1817 – Later in 1817, David left home and married,
1819 – Two years later, David’s youngest sister Melinda was born on 9 November 1819.
He had a total of nine sisters and two brothers.

Marriage

1817 – He married[v] Katherine (sometimes Catherine) A D  Walter (1794-1868), the daughter of James Walker (1752-1838) and  Margaret Ann Swan (?-1804) on 30 January 1817 in Fairfield County, Ohio[vi]. David was 20 and Katherine was 22. The ceremony was performed by David’s uncle, Judge David Swayze.

Ohio Years

I have seen several researchers who have indicated that they moved to Virginia “first.”  I have not found any documentative evidence indicating that move. David and Katherine lived in Fairfield County, Ohio before they married in Fairfield County and all their children were born in Ohio, and, I believe, Fairfield County.
Different documents indicate they lived in New Salem[vii], others indicate they lived in Walnut, but always Fairfield County until the family moved north to Kalamazoo, Michigan about 1839 or 1840.

Michigan Years

Kalamazoo
Courtesy: KalamazooMI.Com

David was one of the founders of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Although his life in Kalamazoo was short, only about 10 years, his impact was felt in many societies, organizations, and village life.

Between 1841 and 1844 he was the Treasurer of the Kalamazoo County Bible Society,[viii]

In 1844 he was a Member of the Kalamazoo Clay Club. That was a Whig organization that supported Henry Clay for president.,[ix] Also in 1844, he was a Trustee for the incorporation of Kalamazoo.,[x]

In 1846 he service the city as the “Overseer of the Poor” for the Village of Kalamazoo,[xi]

His interest in the Kalamazoo County Bible Society continued into 1850 when he was Vice President.,[xii]

Death

Marker – David Swayzee – Died Sept 26 1850
Source: Find-a-Grave Memorial 13791718

David Swayzee died 25 September 1850 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is buried at Mountain Home Cemetery in Kalamazoo.

Children

The children of David and Katherine were:
·      Elizabeth Jane Swayze, born about 1818 in Ohio, died on 25 March 1896 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, aged about 78. She married Isaac Wiseman on 25 March 1840, next she married Rufus Holton  Darling on 27 August 1846. She had 6 children: Mary, Abner, Elizabeth, Emily, Eva and Rufus.
·      Emily Ann  Swayze, born on 21 January 1820 in Ohio, died sometime before 24 January 1908 in Aurora, Kane County, Illinoi). She married Samuel N. Davis on 27 January 1846, next married Samuel  McCarty on 15 April 1853. She had 8 children: Lucy, Eva, Sydney, Charles, Edgar, William, Sallie and Jenny.
·      Margeretta Swayze, born about 1821 in Ohio, died on 18 October 1823 in Lancaster, Fairfield County, Ohio, aged about 2. She had no known descendants.
·      Angeline Swayze, born about 1824 in Ohio, died at an unknown date. She had no known descendants.
·      William D. Swayze, born about 1826 in Ohio, died at an unknown date. He had no known descendants.
·      S. B. Swayze, born about 1828. She married, but has no known descendants.
·      Theodore P.  Swayze, born about 1837 in Fairfield County, Ohio. He had no known descendants. 
·      Caroline M. Swayze, born about 1838 in Ohio; she died at an unknown date. She had no known descendants.

List of Greats

Rufus Harry Darling (1856-1917_
Elizabeth Jane Swayze (1818-1896)
David Swayze (1796-1850)
Amos Swayze (1767-1839)
Barnabas Swayze
Samuel Swayze (Judge)
Joseph Swayze
John Swayze
John Swayze (Before 1600, England)

[Note: Names in italac are anticipated but haven’t been confirmed by me, yet.]

Future Actions

Review Wiseman Family at the Old Church at New Salem for references to David Swayze. ( This book is available on Persi at the Library persi.heritagequestonline.com.)

ENDNOTES

[i] Note:  Name: David /Sweezey/,  Name: David /Swayzee/,  Name: David /Sweezey/, ,  Name: David /Swayzee/,
[ii] Sources: DAR Genealogical Research Databases – Descendants List /  Member: Helen J Roy ;Nat’l # 455124 – Ancestor # A120153 – Daughters of the American Revolution (Internet) – Genealogy of the Swasey Family / 63. Amos Swayze – Pages 183-190 – Don Taylor Files (Other) – Find a Grave / David Swayzee – Memorial# 13791718 – Find-a-Grave (Copy)
[iii] Sources: DAR Genealogical Research Databases – Descendants List /  Member: Helen J Roy ;Nat’l # 455124 – Ancestor # A120153 – Daughters of the American Revolution (Internet) – Find a Grave / David Swayzee – Memorial# 13791718 – Find-a-Grave (Copy)
[iv] Source: Genealogy of the Swasey Family / 63. Amos Swayze – Pages 183-190 – Don Taylor Files (Other)
[v] Note: There is a conflict regarding the 1830 Census.  Reinvestigate.
[vi] Sources: DAR Genealogical Research Databases – Descendants List /  Member: Helen J Roy ;Nat’l # 455124 – Ancestor # A120153 – Daughters of the American Revolution (Internet)
– Genealogy of the Swasey Family / 63. Amos Swayze – Pages 183-190 – Don Taylor Files (Other)
– Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013 / David Swayze and Catharine Walter, 30 Jan 1817; citing Fairfield, Ohio, United States, reference ; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 295,268. – FamilySearch.org (Digitizing)
[vii] Note: Then moved to New Salem Ohio
[viii] Source: History of Kalamazoo County Michigan – Google Books (Digitizing)
[ix] Sources: Kalamazoo Clay Club of 1844 (Other) – History of Kalamazoo County Michigan – Google Books (Digitizing)
[x] Sources: Social Security Death Index (SSDI), Ancestry (Other) – History of Kalamazoo County Michigan – Google Books (Digitizing)
[xi] Source: History of Kalamazoo County Michigan – Google Books (Digitizing)
[xii] Source: History of Kalamazoo County Michigan – Google Books (Digitizing)

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One Response to Photo Identification and David Swayze

  1. sdswazee says:

    I believe you are incorrect on a number of issues as they relate to this David Swayze/Swayzee (II). Correct place of birth is Cecil County, Maryland. I believe son Theodore Swayze/Swayzee/Swazee is my great grandfather. Place of death Cook County, IL. I have in my possession a walking stick near identical to the one in the picture/painting. Initials on the stick are: HWS (Herbert Wallis Swazee), my grandfather; THS (Theodore "H" unknown but assumed to be for first wife "Helen" Swazee. Research note – although I believe Theodore was named with a middle "P", it appears it was later changed and can be verified by probate records of Kalamazoo County which shows last entry in the 1890s with the "H". Buried in the Spring Lake Cemetery, Aurora, IL. Sister married to one of the founders of Aurora, IL, Samuel McCarty. I have family journals and legal documents making this connection), my great grandfather; and then DS. THS's death certificate shows his place of birth to be Ohio. His father's place of birth as Maryland. This lines up with detailed life history of David Swayze I available in the application as a Revolutionary War vet. Because he had no discharge papers, he had to provide a detailed history of his life which is in short story version: birth in NJ, war service in NJ, move to Cecil County in 1790 (which appears confirmed there by tax and church records) then move to Ohio in the 1805-07 time frame.
    Last name spelling. DS I Revolutionary War filing is Swayze – however, across his earlier life, in tax or other government records, its all over the place. DS II died using Swayzee. My great grandfather used Swayze until the later part of his life when he began using Swazee. Beyond the census takers inability to spell an odd sounding name, this variable spelling of the last name appears to actually reinforce the family connection. Several researchers of the Natchez families suggest that Swayze spelled with an "s" in place of the "z" was used to denote the Mass. branch, while "z" was used by the New York branch. And, to distinguish generations and clarify who was who, each new generation would take on a different spelling of the last name.
    However, contrary to what some of the Natchez researchers believe, I do not buy into the idea that the root name hails from France. Instead I believe it's origin to be a Anglo-Saxon/Welsh place name adopted to honor Viking heritage. I base that claim on a careful reading of the history of Swansea, most notable the 1215 town seal spelling as Sweyse. Given the correct understanding of how Swansea is pronounced to this day, the proximity of the assumed departure point of the first Swayze's to America, and the repeated close use of that name spelling in colonial records, and there is little doubt in my mind about that one.
    Well, that should give you something to chew on for time being.
    Steve "not hard to find me on the Internet" Swazee – Best of luck with your research.

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