Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Time In Which They Came

I firmly believe that we learn a great deal by paying attention to and helping others with their genealogy. While trying to find some Dehortys and Sillivants for my genie and blogging buddy Mary at Ancestor Tracking I gained some knowledge that may affirm a privately held hypothesis.

Although some excellent researchers indicate that the Western Chesapeake shore was the stomping grounds of Catholics and that Accomac VA was mainly Protestant and English, since I believe my Carrow line was from Ireland I keep some opinions to myself.

The first Carrow I can definitely point to is in Virginia by 1643 when land is claimed for his transportation.That very likely means he came 2 or more years earlier in the throes of the British Civil War. A deceased researcher,named Sheehan, felt that John Carrow(Caroon/Carron) was of the line of Bryan Carragh a chieftain with ties to both O'Brien and Mac Donald clans near Portglenone Antrim Ireland, which was called "Bryan Carragh's Country".He stated that he fled Ireland under penalty of death for his part in the Civil War and that he went first to Bermuda, possibly under his own sail.

I cannot substantiate that and think it more likely that John takes ship in the usual way and we find him and at least two Thomas Carrows in very early Virginia. A Thomas Carrow (Carew) goes into the Carolinas via Isle of Wight area and the Blackwater River again very probably before he is found in Headright records in 1664.We know now that at least one North Carolina Carrow matches at least one Delaware Carrow in their male Y DNA exactly. Paper records indicate both lines firmly entrenched in their respective areas by the 1680s.

While pulling Dehortys and Sillivants out of their hiding places in first Accomac,Virginia and then Dorchester and Queen Anne MD I found some parallels and ties to my men. Dermon Sellivant and Mary Carrel are fined for "breaking the Sabbath" 22 May 1663 and Thomas Carrel and Dennis Sillivant are mentioned together also in Court records.

I later find Sillivants in the same places that were thought to be Catholic on the Wye River.Henry Carrow lives there both before and after his marriage to Mary Harris Ringgold. His brother John Carrow we believe is married to Elizabeth Hinds daughter of Thomas Hinds/Hines "Merchant of Drogheda Ireland" of Spread Eagle on the Chester River near the Wye. Mary Hinds leaves property to Elizabeth Carro and Rebecca Dear in 1739 and very specifically calls them her daughters.

A John Sullivaint and wife Sarah are affiliated with St.Joseph's Mission,Cordova and John is buried from this Mission at "Seth's graveyard" 15 March 1768.Where is Seth's graveyard?
When I did a little research I find this at "Catholics in Colonial Delmarva" on the St. Dennis church website " by 1662 the Wye River Basin had become a safe haven for the largest..Catholic populations on the eastern shore at that time" and " in Dorchester County, Raymond Staplefort a Catholic became High Sheriff in 1669" and " Jacobus Seth who made his home at 'Mount Mill' a Mass station where Jesuits visited" on Back Wye.

Although Thomas Hines himself belonged to the Church of Ireland, and neither Henry Carrow nor John Carrow have had any Catholic records surface, many of their life choices lend itself to affirming at least to me that the time of their coming points directly to religious strife.

A fine researcher has told me that the affiliation with Thomas Hinds indicates to him that the Carrow family also could have served as merchants. The only land owners for sure are John Carrow who inherits "Tackett's Lott' in Dorchester in 1734, Henry Carrow on the Wye River in 1750 and Timothy Carrow by 1692 in Duck Creek DE yet they are affluent enough.

The time in which they came..may have cured them of large land ownership as the family of Bryan Carragh in North Ireland lost their "country" or territory c. 1640 and began (so I have been told) to affilate themselves with the maternal grandmother's line and carry that name Carew or Carron to the New World.

Shortly before my Dad Bill Carrow died in 1998 we spoke of his family , one of our few conversations about them.He spent some months there in Londonderry during WWII and did some research."They were from the North of Ireland" he said "not England". I asked him if that meant they were protestants and he said "I don't know that". He told me that it was exactly like the book "Chesapeake" and "they were all up and down the Shore".

The time in which they came.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Swanson in Philadelphia and New Jersey

I did not know my Swanson grandmother, Margaretta, as she died when her children were small.What little I knew about the family was passed down orally and somewhat inaccurate.

The hole that Retta Swanson's passing left in my life was huge in my estimation.In addition to not knowing her personally was the absence of pictures and stories of her family. Some things filtered through over the years but it has only been the last few years that I have developed contacts to help me flesh out the family.One of these is another Swanson grandchild whose memories were even more scarce, so some of this is for Marge.

My research is sort of circular beginning in the middle with three Swanson men in Beverly Burlington County NJ. Edward, William and John Swanson do not interact in any way in the records but the tiny town of Beverly as home for all seemed to verify relationship.All three men indicated a father born in Sweden and possibly a mother also.

I first thought that there were also three Sweden born men in the vicinity in the prior generation but realize now there were likely only two.John Swanson who came in 1813 on later inspection had claimed he was English which left Andrew and Charles.

Charles Swanson and Andrew are both found in census documents in 1840 in Southwark Second District. Andrew is found additionally in the same area in 1830.Charles is naturalized 24 March 1827 and Andrew 6 July 1818.

Charles dies in August 1850 of Cholera after being ill only 1 day and his occupation is listed as "Boatman, pilot on river". An infant Sarah M.Swanson dies in July of the same thing, an epidemic perhaps in Southwark? Charles Swanson was married and Leticia or Lettice seems to be his widow who is found shortly afterwards in the household of her daughter Elizabeth and husband George Coffee also in Southwark.George Coffee seems to have lived nearby in the 1830 census.

Leticia lives until 1870 when she and Elizabeth Coffee are both widowed and living with another Swanson daughter Mary McDevitt. A young son/grandson George Coffee is later found living in Burlington County NJ .Letitia Swanson sometimes states she is born in Sweden and sometimes in New Jersey so perhaps she came as a child.

My circular research now takes me to Monument Cemetery in Beverly now online at after the cemetery is established in 1865 Edward Swanson buries Margaret a teenager and baby Edward.All the Swanson men have plots adjacent to one another except John Swanson who had buried his first wife at St.Stephens in 1847 and will eventually rest there himself many years later.

James Swanson now pops into view, a seaman in South Philadelphia with children Letitia, Charles,Mary, Sophia and Georgianna living in the same neighborhood as Mary Swanson McDevitt. James is surely a son of Charles and Letitia and baby Sarah who dies of Cholera shortly before Charles did was their granddaughter, I think.

Records are being searched today at New Jersey Archives and if they exist may substantiate what has been found so far

Friday, July 3, 2009

Carrow men in early Colonial America

Today I posted this at a semi-private DNA website for the Carrow family.I think it has relevance so I am copying it here also.

We have 2 lines currently looking like a possibility both in Delaware and North Carolina in their Y (male) DNA. This leads me to look back at some men we have "tucked into" the family of John Carrow (Dorchester and Queen Anne) and John Carrow the Patriot for convenience sake actually.

Possibly more than one of the men in Accomac lived long enough to father a child.That was NOT always the norm in early Tidal Maryland and Virginia when the life expectancy was short.

We had these men early on:

Evan Carrew/Cariow who is found in records between 1666-1683 in both Accomac and Maryland.He is an educated man and worked as an accountant.He is last found in Cecil County MD very close to Kent Island as Under Sheriff. He does not seem to have lived in the household of John Carrow Constable.He is in Maryland by 1672 but defintely in Accomac records where he served as Deputy Constable between 1666-1669

Thomas Carrow who goes to North Carolina in 1663 and his descendants match in DNA ( in 2 cases) to Delaware Carrows. The line of John Carrow.

Also found in Accomac or at least Virginia records are these men:

Rowland( 1666) and Allen( Sept 1664 are each found once.

Henry Carrow serves in the Maryland Militia in 1678 and lays claim to 350 acres in St.Mary's.
He is NOT the Henry Carrow from Kent Island who lives 1685-1762 and leaves money in his will to John the Patriot of Kent Delaware as his "cousin' which denotes a blood relationship such as nephew.

Nor is he the Father Henry Carrow who is in St.Mary's in 1672 and is superior of the Maryland Mission and dies enroute back to England 5/16/1677.

James Carew sailed October 1678 from Waterford Ireland on the "St.George of London" into Maryland.

None of these men is linked to John Carrow Constable of Accomac but could surely be ancestor of a later generation of Carrows in the Chesapeake area including Delaware and North Carolina.

Not to be forgotten either is Timothy Carow/Cariow who is in Kent County Delaware in 1680 or before.He has cattle earmarks in 1686 is listed as a titheable for Richard Willson in 1693 and serves as Constable in Duck Creek in 1698.He dies in October 1700 and leaves his personal property to the children of "Widow Clifford": Thomas,John,Mary and Parnell. He did not leave his "real property" so possibly had issue.

There were others of course like another Thomas in Accomac, Andrew who is likely a brother to John in Dorcester and a family which includes another John ( Carrel), wife Eliza and children John , Richard and Mary in Isle of Wight county shortly after Thomas Carrow goes to Carolina.

Of the possible patriarchs here besides John Carrow whose line ends up in Delaware and Thomas Carrow who seems to have gone and stayed to the Carolinas (specifically of the Hyde/Beaufort border)two more appear significant to me:

Timothy Carrow Constable in Duck Creek Delaware and Evan Carrow who traverses from Accomac to St.Mary's to Cecil County MD north of Kent Island. Both of these men are alive long enough to amass property (cattle and land) which would enable them to marry and procreate.Neither seem to have lived until a child reaches adulthood.

John Carrow who is at Tackett's Lott in Dorchester County MD seems to be owner of that land for a reason on the Chicanicomico betweeen 1722-1734 when Thomas Tackett dies without an heir of his body.

DNA continues to add to the story and illuminate dark places.