Archive for the ‘Swinney’ Category

John Swinney Diary, Part 4

This is the fourth post of excerpts from a diary written by John Swinney, my 5x great-grandfather, in 1822-1823. Click on the links below to see the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

January 22, 1823: “Worked some at the wagon house floor, then killed beef, 337 lbs., hide 52 lbs., making in all the beef this winter for the use of the poorhouse 1924 lbs. While I was dressing this beef, there was a man brought here by the name of Francis Langraff (insane), a Dutchman, a glass blower from Port-Elizabeth, the order was good for nothing. But Mr. Bowen, Trustee, sent me a line to accept the man. I did so; I put him in a room in the garret and after Wm. Wriggans, his comrade was gone out of sight, I went in until he became pacified and stayed quietly. This man seems to be really an object of pity. He is inoffensive, peaceable and harmless. The man who brought him says that he has said little or nothing for a week past.”

January 23, 1823: “This afternoon was a meeting at the Hotel, inviting the farmers and all who were in favor of forming an agricultural society to attend. I went in, as did others, about 50 in the room. Ebenezer Elmer appointed Chairman, and Dr. E. Buck Secretary. Several observations offered upon the subject, following the opening by the chairman, then proceeded to take the sense of this meeting, whether they should form such a society. Unanimously in favor of it. A committee of 8 persons appointed to draft a constitution and bylaws and lay before this meeting this day 3 weeks, to which they stand adjourned.”

January 29, 1823: “Clear and cold. First in the morning went to mill, got home by breakfast, brought home the flour and bran of 23 bush. Doctor Buck was out pretty soon after I arrived and gave orders that I must put a chain on Francis Langraff (the crazy Dutchman) and give him physsick. Just got him sick with physsick when Mr. J. Seeley and wife come out to see the house through. Had not gone when Wm. Davis and wife from Dividing Creeks came with an order to take away Sarah Smith. They had not gone before Mr. Balcom and a young man with him presented an order to take away the Dutchman. So we have got clear of two today. These orders were from Mr. Smith Bowen, Trustee. The weather today very cold. No. left 47.”

February 3, 1823: “The ground is covered with snow, about 2 inches and continues. After a while, rain a little. Very damp day. Afternoon, 2 of the trustees, Bowen and Simkins, met here on business. Resolved that for the future, persons who wish to take children from the poor-house bring an order from one of the trustees before they take them away…Reese reports 36 in school today.”

February 4, 1823: “Brought in home with me the news paper No. 18 Bridgeton Observer in which a statement of four hogs killed by Mr. John Johnston of this town, weighing as follows. 548, 538, 504 and 496. Total 2086 pounds. Also John Hann Jr. two hogs 476 & 442, total 918 lbs. 15 months [?] an extraordinary marriage is inserted. Jacob Mathies, aged 111 years to Mrs. Sellers, aged 119 years.”

February 5, 1823: “Went up the hill to Norton Harris’s (Jedidiah Davis with me), to his big hog, and a big one it is. It does not get up without help, and that but seldom. It is locked up in a house made for that purpose. It lies on one side with its legs stretched out. It is so fat that it cannot see, and has not for some time. Some say it will weigh 12 hundred alive, some say 1000 when slaughtered, some 900, and none says less than 800. Any how it is a big hog. I returned home, very cold day.”

February 8, 1823: “Sabbath day. Went to church. Mr. John Greene, from the De-Ruyter (?) Church, N.Y. was there and preached from these words: “Thy kingdom come,” a part of our Lord’s prayer when he was teaching his disciples. In this sermon, he dwelt upon the Divinity of Christ and his equality with the Father, etc. An excellent discourse…I went with him to Enos Randolph’s to dine and spent the afternoon and returned home at evening. An extremely cold day. Greene informs me he has been at [?] since the 18th of January last and has baptized 25 persons in his visit there.”

February 11, 1823: “Cloudy and warm. Threshing oats etc. Went and got Ruth Davis a load of wood and cut up short, stopped at the school, heard the children spell, quite noisy, too much so, for the benefit of school. Stayed till it was out, brought Reese home in the wagon. 29 in school today.”

February 13, 1823: “Some hands cutting firewood. I went to mill, then attended the adjourned meeting of the farmers of Cumberland at the Hotel in Bridgeton, to adopt a constitution and bylaws for agricultural society. The committee appointed at the former meeting to draft a constitution etc. presented the same, which was read and ordered a second reading, by section, revised and adopted one by one, after which 42 persons subscribed thereto, and proceeded to the election of officers. 1 President, 4 Vice Presidents, 1 Secretary, 1 Treasurer, 16 Directors, 2 from each township. 5 may form a quorum of this board, to transact business, etc. Doctor Wm. B. Ewing, President, Doctor E. Buck, Secretary, adjourned to the 3rd day of November for the annual meeting of said society. This afternoon is the funeral of Hashel Alkire. Was married about one month ago and about one week after (on a gunning party) had the contents of a loaded gun from Isaac Fithian, one of the party, put in his thigh. In a few days threw him into the [?] and terminated his death last night.”


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John Swinney Diary, Part 3

This is the third post of excerpts from a diary written by John Swinney, my 5x great-grandfather, in 1822-1823. You can read the first two parts here and here. To recap what I know about John during this time: he lived in Cumberland County, New Jersey; he had a son named Reese; he was some kind of employee at the county’s poorhouse.

December 9, 1822: “Pleasant morning, not very cold. Have been cutting wood and carted 5 loads then got into the barn. Reese began to go to school, to the Hopewell school house, John O’Herron preceptor; he says 20 scholars today. He says he stands the 3rd from the tail end in Spelling.”

December 10, 1822: “David Morrow has been brought here to day as poor distressed pauper, by Jonathan Hofman, from Greenwich, a lousy, dirty creature, had to scour him all over and burn his clothes.”

December 17, 1822: “Went to Mill, came as far as Timothy Elmer’s, he went with me, and got Bill Bitter’s wife and child & brought them to the Poorhouse. They were in a state of sufferance, got home in the evening. David Morrow was very bad. Attended to him as well as I could. He died at eleven this evening.”

December 18, 1822: “First went to Bridgeton to get muslin for a winding sheet, then laid out the grave for the hands to dig; ate my breakfast and went over to David More’s. He and I made the coffin for which I paid him 2 dollars for his help. Returned home and buried David Morrow at 4 o’clock.”

December 25, 1822: “The ground covered with snow, and continued till about 9, so cleared off and the day was favorable. I went to cutting up & salting pork. Cut up 15 hogs 3375 lbs pork, and salted better than half of it, etc.”

January 4, 1823: “Sabbath day, wet and damp, the frost coming out the ground, rain some. Went to church in the wagon, took a load. Sermon by Elder J. Davis, his text in 1st Peter 1st chapter, 20 and 21 verses. ‘Who verily was fore-ordained before the foundation of the world, etc.’

1st Speak of the ordination of Christ

2nd How he was manifest in these last times, by being raised from the dead

3rd The faith and hope of the Christian as being in God. So conclude.”

January 15, 1823: “I went and helped Mr. David Wood kill hogs and beef.

13 hogs, 2508 lbs, average 193

1 beef, 486 lbs

Hide, 67 lbs

Total, 3061 lbs

Doctor Peck married to Jane Davis this day. It has been beautiful, pleasant, moderate day, returned home at night.”

January 17, 1823: “Pleasant and warm…Reese returned from school, reports 21 in school & trustees met this afternoon for examination of said school etc.”

January 20, 1823: “The rain began last evening and rained all night attended with thunder and lightning. Today have overhauled my pickled cucumbers, put them into another barrel, 630, Patrick’s count. I think there is that or more, took up some beef to dry etc. Sundry sorts of business. Tis now 9 o’clock in the evening, the rain has continued all day without intermission, and still continues; the weather is so warm. We can sit very comfortable without fire, a thing remarkable for the twentieth of January. The ground is frozen underneath that the water has to pass off to the lowest places, which makes almost the appearance of a flood in some places. The almanac says clear today, but it has been quite the reverse. The rain began last even, about the time the moon quartered.”

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This is my second post about some cemeteries I visited in Ripley County, Indiana. These pictures were taken at Old Hopewell Cemetery in Dabney, Indiana.

Old Hopewell Cemetery

My 2x great-grandparents
Seymour Horatio Shook (1868-1945)
Patience (Swinney) Shook (1872-1950)
(They are buried with an infant daughter, Alma.)

My 3x great-grandparents
Daniel Webster Swinney (1848-1914)
Harriet Olive (Salyers) Swinney (1844-1906)

My records show there are a few other ancestors in this cemetery, but I was not able to find them. There are a lot of old, crumbling gravestones that cannot be read, so I’m sure they are there somewhere.

What could there be in this mess?

But, I did find some that I didn’t know were there. I’m not sure of the relationships for all of these, but they shouldn’t be too hard to find out:

Esther A. Swinney (1852-1870)
Buried with an infant (1886)

Rebeca Waters, wife of Scott Waters (brother of Thomas Milford Waters, mentioned in my last post)

This cemetery has another connection to my family. My grandfather, who made his living in ornamental iron work, made the cemetery’s sign:

Previous: Napoleon Lutheran Cemetery

Next Up: Kingston Presbyterian Church Cemetery

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My mom’s side of the family has a long history in the southern Indiana county of Ripley County. It is near enough to home that several members of my family are able to take an annual day trip there. We typically visit the Napoleon Lutheran Cemetery to put flowers on the graves of my grandparents and both sets of great-grandparents on that side of the family. We also drive past some family homes and a few other family landmarks. This year, my family graciously agreed to visit two other nearby cemeteries to look for the graves of some other ancestors. I’d like to share my photos from each cemetery, so I’ll break this up into a few posts. This one will be about the Napoleon Lutheran Cemetery in Napoleon, Indiana.

Napoleon Lutheran Cemetery

My grandparents
Harold Albert Rork (1923-2003)
Fern Dolores (Ray) Rork (1925-1982)

My great-grandfather
Charles Edward Rork (1894-1977)

My great-grandmother
Hazel Eva (Shook) Rork (1902-1980)

My 3x great-grandfather
Bower Rork (1822-1863)

My 3x great-grandmother
Sarah (Mozingo) Rork (1827-1886)

My great-grandfather
Robert Ora Ray (1882-1949)

My great-grandmother
Tressa (Cross) Ray (1883-1960)

My 2x great-grandparents
William Cross (1855-1921)
Rebecca Jane (Waters) Cross (1853-1901)

My 3x great-grandfather
Thomas Milford Waters (1830-1907)
(His wife, Margaret Jane (Lewis) Waters should also be buried here, but I could not find a marker for her.)

My 4x great-grandparents
Rees A. Swinney (1811-1873)
Patience (Trapp) Swinney (1824-1905)

Next Time: Old Hopewell Cemetery

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John Swinney Diary, Part 2

I haven’t been able to get much research done lately, but I have taken another look at the diary of John Swinney. I thought I would share a few excerpts that I thought were interesting:

November 6, 1822: “I set off to the estate of Stephen Miller, had but just arrived there when a message came to me that Mother had just died…She has manifested all through her illness a resignation to the will of Providence…and died 74 years of age with the exception of 19 days…[she] evinced the reality of what she believed, leaving this world with a hope full of assurance of a glorious resurrection, desiring to depart and be with Christ, far better.”

November 7, 1822: “Br. Smalley prayed, then the procession moved on to the Presbyterian Church yard at the head of Bridgeton Street, where we paid our last respects to our departed friend, there her sleeping dust to wait the Resurrection morn.”

November 9,1822: “Just at evening had old Henry Hains brought here as a pauper, 83 years, says last June, sent by an order from the Trustees of the Poor House in the State of Delaware.”

[Each page on the right side of the book is notated with the word “Poorhouse.” Based on what I have read about John, I don’t think he should be living in a poorhouse. It sounds like he is in some kind of authority over the farm hands, but it may not be his farm. He talks about some of the “paupers” in the poorhouse as if they are somehow in his charge. So, maybe he had more of a professional reason for living there.]

November 15, 1822: “Set the hands to husking corn, completed it and got in 2 loads. As near as I can tell, I have better than 250 bushels corn. I went to Mill with corn and oats for feed. Mr. Enos F. Randolph had the bridge up. Waited a little and then went over; came home and went to weaving…Warm pleasant weather. Samuel Lambert has buried 4 children in 5 weeks.”

November 16, 1822: “Sabbath day. Pleasant morning, went to church. Sermon by Elder John Davis. His text in 1st Peter 2 ch. 25 verse. “For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the shepherd and bishop of your souls.” He illustrated the subject under the idea of sheep and shepherd, etc. 15 minutes intermission, then reassembled and attended the administration of the Lord’s Supper and so dismissed. And returned home a little before night.”

November 17, 1822: “I am informed that Austin has given up the school. Can’t get enough subscribers.”

November 19, 1822: “Charles Davis came and paid me $2 dol. that I lent him nine days ago.”

November 25, 1822: “Arose about day and candle in hand, went into the main house and found that Walker, Lake and Howell had ran away some time in the night, took a chest and stole some shirts and trousers and cleared out.”

November 26, 1822: “I went to the Hopewell School House, put in 14 panes of glass, mended 3 or 5. John Oharron began yesterday to teach.”

November 29, 1822: “In the evening I wove out 43 yards of cotton and wool cloth. Charlotte Daughaty acts as if she was going crazy, or is already so. Any how she acts very strange indeed.”

December 2, 1822: “Have got into the potato house – 19 bushels of radishes, left 22 bushels in the bard to feed to the cows. 7 bushels Ruta Bagas and 3 busels of flat turnips in said house and not done pulling yet. I have weighed one radish 5 lb. and 19 inches in circumference. One other that is 20 inches in circumference.”

December 7, 1822: “…Then was published the proclamation of Governor I. H. Williamson, that he had appointed next 5th day, as a day of thanksgiving and prayer to Almighty God at their respective places of worship, for mercies past.”

I will probably make a few more posts with more of the diary entries as I get them transcribed.

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