Saturday, January 2, 2016

Surname Saturday - My 2016 Brickwall on Swanson Street

                                                    My 2016 Brick Walls
I have been working on brick walls in my line this week and will continue to do so. Another researcher has blogged about hers- what a good idea! 

With all DNA tests I have about 5586 cousin matches at the three main sites. That does NOT include matches that my sister and first and second cousins have that I did not inherit. Wow a lot of folks! So why do I have a brick wall?

Charles Swanson is my 3rd great grandfather. That information was not known in my family when I began working on my genealogy 13 years ago. The family tale was that we were the "Colonial Swedes" Swanson line- like Gloria Dei Church? Swanson Street? See that picture up there?

Well what I found was an Andrew Swanson and a Charles Swanson living in Philadelphia in Southwark by the early 1800s. Charles Swanson was a river pilot and called "Captain" who died on his vessel in August 1849 of cholera. At that time my John Swanson was living in Beverly NJ as were two other men, Edward and William Swanson.

Were they all related? No one at that time really knew. The widow of Captain Swanson, Letitia, maiden name unknown, was living in Southwark with three daughters, a son in law and two grandchildren. Two other sons were living in Philadelphia.

Andrew Swanson, who likely is brother to Charles, is a merchant with one daughter. Charles Swanson names a son Andrew and both are from Sweden. Andrew, born in Goteborg Sweden, interestingly enough, was impressed off a British ship which explains how he got to US. This:  " Peter Coleman and Andrew Swanson, both Swedes, were impressed at Port Royal, Jamaica, on the 8th September 1796 from on board the Brigantine Betsey, by his Britannic Majesties ship Alfred . Samuel Holt of Philadelphia was Captain of Betsy and was affiliated with Old Swedes Church"

For sure I know now, that Charles and Andrew are related, as between my first and second cousins, myself and my sister,  we have  about 15 DNA 4th and 5th cousin matches with descendants of an older brother of  John Swanson and also a younger sister. Proof!

The problem is this: What was Letitia Swanson's maiden name? Do any of these DNA matches come from her line wherever that is from? Her older  and younger sons sometimes say she is from Sweden and sometimes say that she is from New Jersey but speaks Swedish. The "Colonial Swedes" idea again.

Was she  from an early Swedish family? A Swedish researcher has indicated to me that it is quite likely as this was very early for Swedish emigration. Our family is NOT the original Swansons who settle in the Valley.

I need help. Who is Letitia? These names come up on DNA matches whose family is in Burlington County or Gloucester County NJ: Matlack, Holt, Horton, Dalbow, Mattson, Engle.
Any thoughts? Please let me know.

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