William Swann Family
From History of Perquimans County by Ellen Goode Rawlings Winslow.
William Swann was grt 1200a in James City Co Va, Nov 5, 1635, for trans 24
persons, some of whom were Richard Jones, John Swann, Nicholas Stallings,
Nicholas Foster, Edward Champion, & Richard Perry. This grant was reissued
to Thomas Swann, by Sir John Harvey.
Thomas Swann had land grant, Mar 1, 1638, 1200a (as above) on South side
of James River, “to half way Neck.” Another grt, May 9, 1638, on South
side of the James, “at a place called Swanns Bay.” He was a member of the
House of Burgesses, from James City Co, (Surry) 1645-49, and from Surry
Co, 1657-58. In Council 1660-80; d Sept 16, 1680. His home was on Swanns
Point, Surry Co Va, & the English sent to suppress Bacons Rebellion, met
at his house. He married five times, Miss Codd being his first wife, by
whom he had, 1st Samuel, b May 11, 1653, who moved to Perq Co, N. C.
Maj Samuel Swann, “Eldest son of Thomas Swann Esq, of Southwarke pish,
dec’d, for £30 pd by Mary Swann Widow of afsd” sold 300a in Surry Co,
upon Grays Creek, “part of a grt unto my dec’d father, for 1930a, Oct 4,
1645.” Seal Feb 25, 168½. Sarah Swann Ack’ sd Deed, Mar 7, 168½. (Surry
Sarah Swann, wife of Maj Samuel, (by letter) apt’ Capt Thomas Swann of
James City Co, her Att’ to recover “goods, Chattels, & money due my sd
husband.” April 30, 1694. Test’ Will Foster, Will Gray, Roger Williams.
(Surry Co records.)
Samuel Swann “Sone and heir of Thomas,” for £75 s4 pd by John Tuke of
Surry Co, sold “All Right in Est of my father, the late Capt Thomas
Swann,” and apt’ Maj Arthur Allen Att’ Feb 8, 1704. (Surry Co records.)
Samuel Swann “of N. C. gent; sold to Joseph John Jackman of Surry Co Vir”
for £450, land called Swanns Point, 1650a, was 300a grt by sd Samuel, by
deed, to Mary Swann Relict of Thomas, which was grt sd Thomas “his father”
by patent, Feb 15, 1645, in Southwarke Parish, on South side of the James
River. Mar 4 1706. Elizabeth wife of Samuel Ack’ her Dower right. (Samuel
Swanns 2d wife née Lillington.)
Samuel Swann proved rights for 13 persons, in Perq precinct 1694, &
received for importing them 640a of land; himself, wife Sarah (d of Wm
Drummond) & sons: William, Samuel, Sampson, Henry, & Thomas, Elizabeth
Hunt, & 5 negroes.
He was grt by John Archdale 450a in Pasq Co, Feb 26, 1696, “at the mouth
of Newbegun Creek,” which he conveyed to said Archdale, the next day.
On Oct 29, 1702 Samuel Swann Esq, was grt 850a, “in ye prect of perquimons,
adj Mr Thomas Durant, and Roan Oak Sound, Northerly on Batemans Creek, &
Easterly on lands of Geo Katchmaide (now in poss’ of Mr Jno Hawkins) being
part of 3333a grt by Sir Wm Berkley, late Gov of Vir, to sd Katchmaide,
late of the precinct of Perq dec’d.” April 1, 1663.
Hon’ble Maj Samuel Swann Sec of State. (At a Gen’l Court in Perq pre’t
1700.) The ages of his first children, can not be found in Perq. His wife
Sarah, died April 18, 1696. Samuel Swann (1) m 2d Elizabeth née Lillington
(d of Alex & wife Sarah née James) widow of John Fendall. (See deeds, for
mar contract.) Issue: 1 Elizabeth, b June 26, 1698—2 Sarah, b Dec 29 —.
Maj Samuel Swann d 7 ber 14, 1707. (Berkeley Par Reg, Perq Co.)
Samuel (1) Swann, m Elizabeth Fendall (widow) before Oct 10, 1698.
John Fendall late of this County, died Dec 20, 1695, at Capt Walkers house.
(Capt Henderson Walker, one time Gov of Albemarle m Ann Lillington, sister
of Elizabeth, 2d wife of Samuel Swann.)
For the will of Maj Samuel Swann, see Grimes N. C. Wills, p 368, which was
p April 20, 1708. He bequeathed to s William “a Bible, & seal ring,” to
sons: Sampson, Henry, & Thomas, “land between Muddy Creek, & Marshy Gutt”
sons: Samuel, & John, dau’s Elizabeth, & Sarah; wife Elizabeth.
Henry Swann of Perq, Merchant: apt’ Mr William, & Thomas Swann his Att’
Sept 21 1709.
Thomas Swann of Pasq Co, conveyed 127a in sd Co, “to his cousin Wm
Drummond of Vir, to him & his heirs forever” Oct 18, 1726. (Pasq County
Samuel Swann of Perq was dec’d 1704. Mary widow & Admix. (Col Rec Vol I.)
This could not be Maj Samuel’s son, as he names a son Samuel in his will,
1708. If the Samuel who died 1704, left any issue, there is no record of
it in Perq.
(3) Samuel (s of Maj Samuel & Sarah née Drummond) m Mary — (Widow Vail)
issue: Mary, b Mch 5, 1726/7, m Richard Clayton—2 Sarah, b Sept 3, 1729—3
Samuel, b Dec 8, 1731.
Samuel Swann (3) will Perq, p April 1753, names his dau Mary “wife of
Richard Clayton,” to whom he left “land on the Sound side,” other dau’s
Sarah, Ann, Elizabeth, Martha, Jane, Margaret. Exrs John, & Jeremiah Vail
(brothers). Test’ Susannah Vail, William Woolard.
Thomas Swann (s of Maj Samuel & Sarah Drummond) lived in Pasq Co, where
his will was p Aug 9, 1733. Sons: Samuel, & William. He made bequest to
Dau’s Rebecca, & Elizabeth, “land at Moyock, in Currituck Co,” wife
John & Thomas Swann moved to Hyde County, where their descendants are now
living. The county seat of Hyde, Swan Quarter, was probably named for this
branch of the family.
(3) Samuel Swann, was Speaker of the Assembly in 1715. Samuel Swann Gent,
was sworn in by George Nichols, Att’ Gen’l, for the Counties of Currituck,
Pasquotank, Perquimans, & Chowan, Oct 3, 1752.
Samuel Swann, & son John were Exrs of the will of Thomas Snowden, p in
Perq Oct 1736.
One of Maj Samuel Swanns dau’s m John Baptista Ashe, another m Frederick
Jones, of Chowan County, Chief Justice of N. C. 1720.
Major Samuel Swanns record in Perq, is without a blemish. The family
adhered faithfully to the faith of their fathers, & Samuel Swann was
instrumental in establishing a Church according to his belief, the Church
of England, believed to be “old Nags Head Chapel” which has long since
disappeared. This Chapel, not far from his home, was still unfinished at
his death, but it served the people of “Durants Neck” for many
generations, finally falling into decay, it was turned over to the
Methodist congregation, and it is said the present New Hope Church rests
upon the old foundations of Nags Head Chapel. This Methodist Church, is
the oldest in the county, so it seems. Here New Hope took root upon “old
hope” buried in the past.
At the present time there is not a living representative of this
influential family in Perq, the last to be found, being Samuel, who was
dec’d June 13, 1771, without heirs. Like so many other families, once
numerous in our county, they have drifted away, & only the records are a
reminder that they at one time wielded a strong hand in the public affairs
of this section.
The New Hanover Land Grants, in N. C. show that Samuel Swann, was grt 320a
in said county, on East side of the road, from Wilmington, to Brunswick,
below his line, Feb 23, 1754, and 300a on same day, same runnings, and
200a on Long Creek, all same date. Thus we see the Swann family continued
to migrate ever southward. The Counties of Hyde, Beaufort, & New Hanover,
would probably yield valuable information, about this splendid family.
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