Update about blog

Come on over to my other blog, Alchemy of Clay and Living in Black Mountain NC, where the scenery and my ceramic arts life are combined. I've moved some personal blog posts, (as well as those that are about my ancestors) back here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Alexander John Swasey

Happy birthday to an ancestor, who would have been 161 years old today.

Writing says "Alexander John Swasey, the father of Ada and Stella Swasey" Possibly photographed around 1890.
Born in 1853 in South Carolina.  I just discovered new information about his mother.  Her name on his death certificate is listed as Mrs. Tylstra.  More records indicate she was Fannie or Anna J. Tylstra born in Tallahassee, FL.  In the 1910 census A. J. Swasey gave her name as Tilson, from Tallahassee, born in 1810.  The information I just got on Ancestry gives her birth year as 1815, but still Tallahassee.

His father, Captain Alexander Swasey, had his birthday last month and was born in 1812, and I posted a lot about him in the past as he was a Confederate Blockaid Runner.  His birthday link is HERE.

My father's mother's father, Alexander John Swasey (I'm calling him A.J.) was born in Charleston, SC according to his death certificate.  I just discovered he had 3 older sisters, born in 1840, 41, and 49, all born in Florida.  There isn't much information about any of them.

A.J. had various clerical and bookkeeping and sales jobs.  In 1884 he is listed as a Collector in the Rosenberg Bank in Galveston Texas city directory.  His wife's cousin Chauncey G. Sweet is listed with the same occupation, and their residence is listed as the same address at that time.  Many of my Swasey and Phillips ancestors apparently lived together around the corner from each other.

He married Zulieka Granger Phillips in 1882 when he was 29.  She had been an orphan raised in the homes of her mother's sister's families in Galveston, Texas during the Civil War and following.  I don't know how A.J. got to Galveston, TX from Charleston, SC where he was born.  That's where his father died in 1866, following imprisonment during the war.  But the first verifiable record of his being in Galveston is in 1884.

My grandmother, Ada Phillips Swasey lived with her parents until her marriage to George Rogers in Galveston in 1905, a ceremony which was held in their home.

In 1907, A.J. and his wife  moved to Houston TX  and he was a bookkeeper for Kirby Lumber.
By 1910 he was listed as an accountant at that lumber company, with their home on Main Street.

They lived in an apartment called The Savoy in Houston while in 1911, and he was a clerk for an oil company. They are listed in the Houston Directory at the same address until his death from heart failure in 1913.  His wife's cousin Chauncey Sweet took his remains back to Galveston to be buried probably.  Chauncey signed the death certificate Oct. 4, 1913, which lists his occupation as a salesman, to be buried on Oct. 5.

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