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.

Monday, September 8, 2014

More on Newport and my ancestors (part II)

My ancestor, Alexander G. Swasey Sr. lived in Newport, RI from 1807 to 1861 (The 1856 Newport Business Directory says: carver, Langley’s wharf, h. 11 Franklin.) I've looked for 11 Frankiln on Google maps, and it's not a residence any more.

Newport RI Business Directory 1856
And on an old map of Newport, there's no Langley's Warf listed either.  Note, after the Revolution and a long term British then French military occupation of Newport, many homes were left vacant and demolished following the war (see post HERE).

Map shows many warves in Newport RI in the time before the Revolutionary War.

Alexander G. Swasey Sr. had been born Sept. 10, 1784 in Swansea, Bristol County, MA.  He married Ruth Woodward on July 7, 1807, in Newport, RI.  This is the first date recorded on Ancestry with his residence in Newport, though he could well have moved there earlier.

Son: William Swasey, born 1817, in 1856 directory listed as mariner, h. 29 Broad.

Son (and my ancestor) Alexander G. Swasey Jr. (listed in 1856 Newport Business Directory: planing mill, Tanner cor. Green land, h. Charles cor. Marlborough) I think he was born in Newport in 1812, though in 1840 also had residence in St. Augustine, FL and was a captain of various ships.

Newport RI tax role 1855 Alexander G. Swasey

Since the younger had the same name as his father, there have been confusing documents attributed to the other of that name.  I am definitely sure the younger Alexander did Captain various ships including those that transported slaves (probably illegally) and signed the manifests.  He also became a Confederate Blockade Runner in the Civil War.  And he spent a long time in a Union Prison.  I've spoken of him elsewhere, HERE, and here.

Newport RI Business Directory, 1863

Actually someone has listed Alexander Jr. being born in Newburyport, MA.  I don't know why.  So I'm off to search records about this.  Can't find anything of the 3 records listed that says WHERE he was born, just that he was of that age, so I've removed them from his "birth" source records.

Alexander Jr's death certificate says he was born in Charleston, SC, where he died.  So now I'll go against my own integrity and say...
That is wrong, though possibly he'd said as much to be a loyal Confederate soldier at one point or another.  (His is the first name on the form below, March 26, 1866)  I usually say a source document must be right, but his having been born in New England is pretty much certain.  If I'm wrong, I'll be eating my hat!

Here is the list of my ancestors in the Swasey family, using the Swasey Genealogy book of 1910.

 I'm so glad to have original documents available to read...and copy to my own files.  Still haven't solved the question of where Alexander Jr. was born.  There's always another day, another ancestor.

I'm listing the entire family from the 1910 book, onto my ancestry family for now.
There were obviously lots of brothers who also had children, so it's going to cousins all over the place now.

Incidentally, the folks that won the war continue to write history, so the Swasey who served for the Union forces is listed with more information, while Captain Alexander G. Swasey, Jr. who went with the rebels, is barely mentioned in the 1910 book.  Another place where brothers fought against each other.

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