Davis Uriah I | Born 1707

SWAIN, Richard

Male 1600 - 1682  (82 years)

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  • Name SWAIN, Richard  [1, 2
    Christened 21 Sep 1595  Binfield Parish, Berkshire County, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Born 1600  England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Died 14 Apr 1682  [1, 2
    Person ID I14613  Uriah Davis I - Genealogy
    Last Modified 21 Jun 2018 

    Family 1 BASSELLE, Elizabeth,   b. Abt 1598, England (Probably) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Jul 1657, Hampton, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 59 years) 
    Married Bef 1621  [1
     1. SWAIN, William,   b. 1618, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Oct 1657, Hampton Falls, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 39 years)
     2. SWAIN, Francis,   b. 1621, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1665, Long Island, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 44 years)
     3. SWAIN, Nicholas,   b. 1623, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Aug 1650, Hampton, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 27 years)
     4. SWAIN, Grace,   b. 23/23 Feb 1625/1626, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 14/14 Mar 1691/1692  (Age 66 years)
     5. SWAIN, Dorothy,   b. Abt 1629, Hampton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1707, Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 78 years)
     6. SWAIN, Richard II,   b. 6 May 1630, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1635, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age < 4 years)
     7. SWAIN, John,   b. 5 Oct 1633, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1716, Nantucket Island, Nantucket County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)
     8. SWAIN, Elizabeth,   b. 9 Oct 1638, Newbury, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 10/10 Feb 1710/1711, Hampton Falls, Rockingham County, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)
    Last Modified 24 Jun 2018 
    Family ID F4476  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 GODFREY, Jane,   b. Abt 1625,   d. 31 Oct 1662, Nantucket, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 37 years) 
    Married 15 Sep 1658  Hampton, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
     1. SWAIN, Richard,   b. 13/13 Jan 1658/1659, Nantucket Island, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Oct 1706, Cape May, New Jersey, Unites States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 47 years)
    Last Modified 24 Jun 2018 
    Family ID F4478  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • 1 NAME Richard /Swain/, Sr.
      2 SOUR S007771
      3 NOTE 453 Glendon Road, P.O. Box 850, Cave Junction, OR 97523-0850, 541-592-6575
      2 SOUR S002753
      3 DATA
      4 TEXT Date of Import: Feb 25, 2004
      1 PROP
      2 DATE 2 JUL 1659
      2 PLAC Richard and his son John were among the nine purchasers of Nantucket
      1 PROP
      2 DATE 2 JUL 1659
      2 PLAC Richard and his son John were among the nine purchasers of Nantucket
      2 SOUR S003676
      3 DATA
      4 TEXT Date of Import: Dec 24, 2003

      From the book, "One Hundred and Sixty Allied Families", by John Osborne Austin:

      "Richard Swain, Hampton, N. H., Nantucket, Mass.
      1635, 9, 17. Hes came in the ship "Truelove," from London, having sent his wife Elizabeth in the "Planter" the April previous, his sons Francis and William in the "Rebecca," and daughter Elizabeth in the "Susan and Ellen," in care of various friends.
      1638, 10, 9. Newbury, Mass. His daughter Elizabeth was baptized there.
      1639, 3, 13. Rowley, Mass. This same year he had liberty to settle small claims at Hampton, N. H. (then in Massachusetts), where he had been granted liberty to plant the year before.
      1643, 3, 7. Hampton. He and others of Hampton, petitioned Governor of Massachusetts, complaining of William Haward, military officers.
      He was, while at Hampton, Selectman, and commissioner for small causes.
      1659, 7, 2. He and his son John were among the nine purchasers of Nantucket from Thomas Mayhew, the latter remaining a share. The consideration paid was oe30, "and also two beaver hats, one for myself and one for my wife," as Mayhew's deed declares.
      1661, 5, 10. Nantucket. On a committee to lay out lands.
      1667, 6, 18. He deeded land to Thomas Macy and Edward Startbuck, guardians of George Bunker's minor children, he himself being their step-father, as he had married George Bunker's widow.
      1671, 6, 29. He and his son john were among the purchasers of the rights, etc., that Wanackmamack, Chief Sachem of Nantucket, this day deeded for consideration of oe40.
      His last wife Jane, was the first white person recorded as having died on Nantucket, and his grandson, John Swain, was the first white male child born upon that island.
      His son Francis went to Long Island, William staid at Hampton; and Richard, the only child by his second wife, moved to New Jersey, where descendants have been Cape May pilots.
      1682, 8, 1. Administration on his estate granted to Richard Swain, Jr., who gave bond of oe50, with James Coffin, surety. Appraisers appointed by the Court were, Nathaniel Barnard, Stephen Coffin, Thomas Look, Tobias Cole..." [Birch genealogy by Terry Birch - 680559_GM.GED]

      Notes for Richard Swain, Sr:
      Sources for the Swain family include: Carl Swain, Claxton, GA (descendent of John Wesley Swain who was a son of Levi Bonaparte Swain, Sr), Truman Porter "Pete" Swain, Jr., Pender Co, NC (descendent of Thomas Willetts Swain who was a brother of Levi Bonaparte Swain, Sr), and Rebecca "Becki" Ray Watters, Fresno, CA (descendent of Martha Swain who was a sister of Levi Bonaparte Swain, Sr). The book by Robert Swain called "Swains of Nantucket-Tales and Trails".

      Richard Swain, his wife, Elizabeth Basselle, and several children immigrated to New England in 1635. Richard Swain left England September 17, 1635 aboard the Truelove, while his wife and children were sent perhaps ahead in April 1635 on other ships under the care of friends. Wife Elizabeth left England aboard the Planter with children Nicholas, Grace and John. Sons William and Francis left aboard the Rebecca.

      Richard Swain and his family first lived in the small town of Rowley, MA, then known as the MA Bay Colony. Later he moved to Hampton where he is listed as amoung the first settlers.

      Richard, planter, Hampton, 1638. He owned a house and land at Exeter before 1650. Gave part of his house-lot in Hampton to his daugher Grace and her husband, Nathaniel Boulter, September 4, 1660; another tract to Hezekiah, eldest son of William, deceased; the widow Prudence to have the use of it till Hezekiah is 21 years old. He moved to Nantucket, MA. He sold his remaining estate to his son-in-law Boulter July 6, 1663.
      Pioneers in Massachusetts, p.441

      Richard Swain, Sr married his second wife, Jane Godfrey in 1658 and by 1663 they had moved to Nantucket, MA. Richard was one of a group of nine Massachusetts Englishmen (Tristram Coffin, Thomas May, Christopher Huffey, Thomas Bernard, Peter Coffin, Stephen Greenleaf, John Swain-son of Richard, and William Pike) who in 1659 purchased Nantucket Island from Thomas Mayhew for 30 pounds and two beaver hats.

      The following is from Robert Swain's "Swains of Nantucket-Tales and Trails":

      Christened as Rychard Swayn on 21 September 1595, Berkshire, England, the name Richard Swayne was used until he moved to Nantucket from the mainland. Other spellings of the name in England during the period 1500-1600's show Swaine, Swayn, and Swain, in addition to Swayne. His children, Francis, Nicholas, Grace, Richard and John, are listed in christening records as either Swaine or Swayne. One son, the first Richard, Jr., died as an infant in England.

      In most instances the name Swayne or Swain(e) is derived from the Old Norse word sveinn which meant "boy, servant peasant" depending on its use in the sentence. It came to England with Danes and Norwegians and was altered there to suein, suen, swan, etc. Sveinn was first used as a descriptive term before becoming a surname. Burkes Armory describes the Coat-Of-Arms for one Swain, one Swain or Swaine, one Swaine and four Swaynes...each of them different. According to some authorities Richard Swayne of St. Albans, England who came to America in 1635, living first at Rowley, Massachusetts Bay in 1635, and then at Hampton in New Hampshire, was in line with William Swayne of Salisbury, England, granted the Coat-Of-Arms, 20 June 1444, later confirmed by a descendant of the same name, of London, in 1612. This is the same Coat-Of-Arms found in Scotland in 1100, but without the Motto.

      A record of the births of four of the children of Richard Swayne are found in Easthampstead County, England: Nicholas, Grace, Richard, and John Swayne. After Richard Swayne took his family to America in 1635, there seems to be no other family of that name living in Easthampstead for nearly 60 years. St. Albans, England is northeast of London.

      Of those using the name Swayne, Swain or Swaine, who came to New England early were: William, mentioned by Savage as "William Swain, Gentlemen", born 1585, came to Watertown, Massachusetts in 1635: was afterward one of a commission sent to govern the colony of Connecticut. A William Swain was in Branford after 1636. Jeremiah Swain was at Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1638 and one of the first settlers of Reading, Massachusetts. The third was Richard Swayne who came to Rowley, Massachusetts in 1635. It is not known if there was any relationship between these three early settlers of New England.

      In Virginia, the following beadrights in county land grants were made to Stephen Swaine in Surry County in 1635. Some genealogical researchers have confused him with Stephen Swain of Nantucket who went ' to Chowan County, North Carolina about 1690. A Thomas Swain(e) and his wife were in James City in 1638 and another Thomas Swain was in New Kent in 1682.

      In North Carolina, 32 families of Swains were property taxpayers in the period 1717-1779. The 1790 United States Census lists one or more of the spellings, Swain, Swaine, and Swains in Connecticut, Georgia (Reconstructed), Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North and South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia. The 1790 Census lists Swaims and Swains in the same counties so it would appear that Swaims were once Swains. The fact that the name Sveyn appears in England in 1045 and in Scotland in 1250 would reinforce the Priority of Swain.

      Richard Swayne/Swain sent his wife Elizabeth and the children to New England in April 1635 and he followed in September of that same year. It is known that Elizabeth and the children did not arrive on the same ship, the older children on one vessel and the mother and younger children on another. An early historian states that the children who sailed separately from their mother were with friends on the ship Rebecca. These were sons, William and Francis, and Nicholas, Grace and John came with their mother on the ship Planter. Some records state a daughter named Elizabeth was a passenger on the ship Susan and Ellen. This was not the daughter of Richard Swain since his daughter was not born until he settled at Hampton, New Hampshire.

      Richard Swain arrived in America in 1635 as stated above, and he and the family first lived in the small town of Rowley, Massachusetts, then known as the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Later he moved to Hampton where he is listed among the first settlers. That was in the autumn of 1638 and the settlement was called "Winnacunnett" according to the History of Hampton. Later the Reverend Steven Bachelor (Bachiler), one of the early petitioners, requested the name be changed to Hampton.

      Included in the History of Hampton are many references to Richard Swain and his role as a leading citizen of the town. His wife was referred to as "Basselle" but this name is not found in any of the records from England. On a following page is an early map of the town of Hampton, New Hampshire, and you will note the names of some of the children of Richard Swain. Also shown are names of many of the early settlers, some remaining in Hampton and others migrating to Nantucket after its purchase from Thomas Mayhew.

      It was at Hampton that the last child of Richard and Elizabeth Swain was born in 1636, Elizabeth Swain. It was here also where his wife, Elizabeth, died in 1657. In 1658 he married a widow, Jane Godfrey Bunker, whose husband, George Bunker, had died at sea leaving her with five small children. The oldest son of Richard Swain, William, also died in 1657, having lost his life at sea on a voyage from Hampton to Boston. In 1659 the problems for Quakers increased and many of the inhabitants began to search for a haven of safety where they could live and worship in peace. By 1660 Richard Swain had turned his property over to his daughters and moved with sons John and Richard, Jr., his new wife and stepchildren, to the Island of Nantucket. In 1659 he and his son, John Swain, were two of the ten original purchasers of Nantucket Island from Thomas Mayhew for thirty pounds silver and two "Beaver Hats".

      What brought Richard Swain and others like him to America so long ago when they were desperate to brave the unknown of a new colony across the ocean? The voyage was long and dangerous in vessels that were small and propelled only by sail. Why did he send his family alone and who were the friends that traveled with the family and perhaps sheltered them until Richard arrived in America? It must have taken great courage on the part of Richard and Elizabeth to leave their home in England, and (Especially to travel separately not knowing if they would ever see each other again. We can only speculate about the reason for their leaving in the first place, but from 1633-1635, those immigrants from England were seeking more religious freedom from the confines of the Church of England. During a period of time before this migration the future of the "Puritans" in England was so black that thousands finally fled to America where they founded the Colony of Massachusetts. A study of events during that time will show that they did not like the control of the church by the bishops and the type worship service that, except for being conducted in English rather than Latin, could not be distinguished from the Catholic Church.

      Early in the history of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, religious persecution began. A series of acts was perpetrated in the name of the law that in our present age seems incredible. It is ironic that those who left England to seek religious freedom found conditions worse in their newly chosen land. It appears that many of those Puritans or Separatists joined the Society of Friends in America, and even before the first Quaker arrived in Massachusetts the General Court had appointed a Fast Day, "to seek the face of God in behalf of our native country, in reference to the abounding errors, especially those of Ranters and Quakers". Men and women were scourged from one town to another, imprisoned, banished from the Colony, hurt, mutilated and humiliated. This spirit had in 1658 and 1659 reached an extreme point. Quakers were banished from the Colony under the pain of death if they returned, or, if they were found within its jurisdiction after a limited time, the penalty was the same as return after banishment. Citizens were prohibited from harboring them, mingling with them or advocating or encouraging their religion. It appeared to be more intense in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. One law was enacted forbidding the Indians to worship in their own manner on English ground, punishing blasphemy with death, etc. Open renunciation of the church or its order was punishable by a fine of 50 shillings per month for each month of heresy. Disobedience of parents or denying the Scriptures to be the word of God was punishable with death. A man must be orthodox to hold office or vote. Complaint to the home government brought local whipping and banishment.

      In 1655, a law was passed that "no Quaker be entertained by any person or persons with this government, under penalty of 15 pounds sterling for every such default, or be whipped". This was amended in October 1657, making the fine forty shillings per hour for every offense. Under the provisions of this law several Quakers were arrested and imprisoned. On the 18th of October 1659, the "Court understanding that several inhabitants of this jurisdiction have lodged Quakers now in prison, do order that the secretary issue out a warrant to the several persons, & send them same by messenger of purpose to bring them with speed to this court, to answer for their offense therein". These persons were: James Rawlins, Anthony Emery, Thomas Spencer, Richard Nason, Richard Swayne, Zaccheus Gould and Thomas Macy. Two of the Quakers imprisoned, William Robinson and Marmaduke Stephenson, were hanged in Boston on the 27th of December 1659. All those named were fined except James Rawlins who is said to be "more innocent & ingenious than the rest: the Governor only admonished him. Richard Swayne was fined three pounds and disenfranchised. Thomas Macy paid thirty shillings and was admonished by the Governor.

      The above record and his release from the church at Hampton seems to be the only involvement Richard Swain had with the Society of Friends, but later- a good many of his descendants on Nantucket embraced the Quaker faith. As the population of the Island grew many of these Quaker families decided to move to other parts of the United States and we find several families departing together and living near each other as they settled in the south and Midwestern states. It is evident that the first white settlers of Nantucket were God-fearing people, but in addition to the Quakers, there were Baptist, some Presbyterians, Puritans and Separatists, among those leaving New England to migrate to other locations across America. It is believed that Richard Swain may have been a part of a Puritan group from England. Peter Folger embraced Quakerism and so did John Swain, the oldest son of Richard Swain. Stephen Hussey and John Swain could not agree with each other on the matters of religion so John Swain finally stopped his participation in the affairs of the Society of Friends. Stephen Hussey was the husband of Martha Bunker, stepdaughter of Richard Swain.

      It was during this time of persecution of Quakers that Richard Swain and others, started looking into the possibility of finding a better place to rear their families. During the summer of 1659, Tristram Coffin made a visit to some of the offshore islands, and when he visited Martha's Vineyard he learned that Thomas Mayhew was willing to dispose of Nantucket. He went there, liked what he saw, found out that the Indians would agree to satisfactory terms made a report to his friends and neighbors, and as a result purchase of the Island was made from Thomas Mayhew on 2 July 1659. Thomas Mayhew, who retained a share for himself, did not go to Nantucket, nor did all of the men named in the deed. Richard Swain bought the half share of William Pile who was one of the "Half Share Men" selected by the original purchasers.

      The original purchasers of Nantucket were allowed to select partners who were called "Half Share Men", whom later it was learned, were not to share in the political control of the island. At least that was the intent of the original purchasers. Most of the "Half Share Men" were tradesmen and were needed to perform the essential services of the growing community. The attempt to retain the political control of the early proprietors caused some friction and turmoil later on and caused a split among those first inhabitants that took some time to resolve. This occurred about 1673 and other men who came from the mainland to the Island later, many of them during the King Phillips War, seeking temporary residence joined the half share group.

      The "Half Share Men" were selected early in 1659 when the first purchasers met at Salisbury, Massachusetts, and approved or agreed that the "ten owners will admit of Ten more partners who shall have liberty to take a partner who he pleases not being justly Expected against by the rest". There was no mention if anyone was turned down by the group initially selected as a partner. John Swain took as his partner Thomas Look who married Elizabeth Bunker, the oldest stepdaughter of Richard Swain. Although Thomas Look went to Nantucket and resided there for a number of years he and his family moved to Martha's Vineyard to live. A number of the first purchasers selected kin or neighbors as partners, so most of them knew each other before moving to Nantucket.

      The poem quoted below is found in several forms in several publications and books written about the inhabitants of Nantucket. This version is from the History of Nantucket by Starbuck. Another version is in Chapter V as written in the History of Guilford County, North Carolina. It is doubted that all descendants of these families share the imaginative viewpoint as the poets:
      "What may be, perhaps not ineptly, termed the clannishness of the descendants of the First Purchasers, is illustrated by a little doggerel written by someone who had no fear of the tribal displeasure nor any respect for the family pride of those he lampoons. (1) It appears in two stanzas, published about 1834 and the irreverent writer thus characterized his victims:

      The Rays and Russells, coopers are,
      The knowing Folgers lazy,
      A lying Coleman very rare,
      And scarce a learned Hussey.

      The Coffins noisy, fractious, loud,
      The silent Gardners plodding,
      The Mitchells good, the Barkers proud,
      The Macys eat the pudding.

      As though that was not enough, some super-reckless individual added the following for good measure:

      The Swains are swinish, clownish called,
      The Barnards very civil,
      The Starbucks they are loud to bawl,
      The Pinkhams beat the devil.

      (1) Presumable it was written, or at least the first two stanzas written by Hart, the author of Miriam Coffin. It has also been attributed to Phitieas Fanning who married Kezia Coffin, the daughter of John and Kezia Coffin.

      Other illustrations of the clannishness and intermarriage among the Islanders can be found within the pages of the History of Nantucket, such as stories by Prof. Maria Mitchell and Rev. Ferinand C Ewer.

      Notes for Jane Godfrey:
      Jane Godfrey married Richard Swain after the death of her first husband, George Bunker. George Bunker was the son of William de BonCoeur, a French Huguenot who had fled to England. George came in 1634 to Ipswich, MA and was one of the original settlers of Topsfield, MA. He drowned there in 1658 leaving his widow Jane Godfrey and 5 young children.
      After Jane married Richard Swain, they moved to Nantucket, MA.
      Reference: Savage 1:299; Virkus, Immigrant Ancestors

      ************************************************************************** ***************************************
      Surnames of Nantucket
      Tristram and Dionis Stevens COFFIN - settled in 1659
      John GARDNER - settler in 1660s
      Thomas MAYHEW -
      Richard SWAIN - proprietor of the 1600s
      John SMITH - partner of Thomas Mayhew
      Richard SMITH - an artisan circa 1661
      Richard SWAIN - proprietor of the 1600s
      John TROTT - settler in 1665
      Nathaniel WYER - early settler
      ************************************************************************** ***************************************

      In 1639, Richard Swain was one of the first settlers at Hampton, now in NH. See: http://www.hampton.lib.nh.us/hampton/history.htm
      Click on the _Dow's History of Hampton_ links.

      In 1659, he and his son John were among the 10 original purchasers of Nantucket. A good starting place for info about him there is: _The History of Nantucket..._ by Alexander Starbuck. In the back are genealogies for several generations of several of the early settlers.

      By the way, I believe that Basselle is a "first" name. Some secondary sources refer to his first wife as Elizabeth, some as Basselle. Could Basselle be a nickname for Elizabeth? I've not found a primary source for her name. He married secondly Jane, the widow of George Bunker.

      Howard Swain
      ============================== End of Notes ==============================

  • Sources 
    1. [S463] Descendants of Jeremiah Tallman (3).GED.
      Date of Import: Dec 24, 2003

    2. [S477] One Hundred and Sixty Allied Families.

    3. [S476] Birch genealogy by Terry Birch - 680559_GM.GED.
      Date of Import: Feb 25, 2004