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Descendants of Alexander Sweatman

      37. Louisa Ann Eliza4 Swetnam (Neri3 Sweatman, John2, Alexander1) was born January 28, 1805 in Culpeper, VA, and died August 18, 1877 in Lawrence Co, KY. She married Robert Bruce Walter February 26, 1824 in Lawrence Co, KY, son of Isreal Walter and Holbrook. He was born May 29, 1799 in Wikes Co., KY, and died November 26, 1878 in Blaine, Lawrence, Kentucky.

Notes for Louisa Ann Eliza Swetnam:
The family moved from Virginia to Blaine Creek, in Lawrence County, Kentucky when she was thirteen years old. Their third child, named Neri Swetnam Walter, was killed in the Civil War. There is a legend that says the town of Louisa, Kentucky was named for her.

More About Louisa Ann Eliza Swetnam:
Fact 1: Buried at Blaine, Lawrence, KY
Children of Louisa Swetnam and Robert Walter are:
  113 i.   Edford Lewis5 Walter, born January 31, 1827.
  Notes for Edford Lewis Walter:
Never Married

  114 ii.   Neri Swetnam Walter, born 1830.
  Notes for Neri Swetnam Walter:
Killed in The Civil War.

  115 iii.   Trivilla Jane Walter, born 1833 in Lawrence Co, KY; died in KY. She married William Ely in Catlettsburg, Boyd, KY; born Bef. 1832 in Lawrence Co, KY.
  116 iv.   William Marion Walter, born 1835.
  117 v.   Louisa Ann Walter, born 1838.
  118 vi.   John C. Walter, born December 9, 1839.
  119 vii.   Robert Linksey Walter, born June 7, 1843.
  120 viii.   Emily Elizabeth Walter, born June 7, 1843 in Lawrence Co, KY. She married Grubb; born Bef. 1821 in Lawrence Co, KY.
  121 ix.   Monroe Madison Walter, born 1846 in Blaine, Lawrence, Kentucky; died 1935 in Blaine, Lawrence, Kentucky. He married Ann Patrick; born 1856 in Blaine, Lawrence, Kentucky; died 1934 in Blaine, Lawrence, Kentucky.
  122 x.   Paulina Rebecca Walter, born Bef. 1848.

      38. Claiborne L.4 Swetnam (Neri3 Sweatman, John2, Alexander1) was born February 10, 1807 in Culpeper, VA, and died November 5, 1898. He married Teresa Wellman April 27, 1837 in Floyd, KY. She was born August 27, 1811 in KY, and died February 25, 1896.

Notes for Claiborne L. Swetnam:
The Claiborne Swetnam house is located off Rt. 32, in Blaine, where the road from Louisa to the Beaver Iron Works in Bath County, by way of West Liberty and the road from Prestonburg to the Little Sandy Salt Works, via Swetnam's, once formed a major junction on Blaine Creek.
It is said that CS General Humphrey Marshall stayed overnight at the Claiborne Swetnam House during his Eastern KY Spring Raid of 1863.

Clayborne was a land owner, farmer and merchant. He owned a store with H. Gambill, which was mentioned in a report in the Greenup Independent Supplement, Greenup, Kentucky on Friday, May 7, 1878, written by A. P. L. Goering of Hamilton Ontario, Canada.

"The Gambill and Swetnam store did a remarkable business buying country produce, shipped not less than 260 barrels of beans and 53 barrels of eggs during this summer."

Clayborne is mentioned by name in this report. It is also mentioned that the Gambill and Swetnam Store was the best of the three stores in Blaine at that time. In his later years Clayborne became senile, as is recorded in Walter Stafford Swetnam's book Kith and Kin.

"In his late years Uncle Clayborne became senile, and a man named Isam Skaggs was       employed to look after him, keep him clean and out of mischief. Uncle Clayborne took a great dislike to him, and somehow conceived the idea that any food that he left on his plate would be eaten by Skaggs, so that he would clean his plate meticulously, saying, "If I leave any bite, that Skaggs gets it."

It is said that Uncle Clayborne had a considerable sum in gold, in a churn, or crock, which was well hidden -- so well, in fact, that after his death it was never found. Of course somebody may have found it and made off with it, or it may still be hidden somewhere about the place."

Children of Claiborne Swetnam and Teresa Wellman are:
+ 123 i.   Milton Franklin5 Swetnam, born September 6, 1838 in Blaine, Lawrence, Kentucky; died August 1930.
  124 ii.   Sarah Jane Swetnam, born December 3, 1840 in Blaine, Lawrence, Kentucky; died September 19, 1934. She married (1) John Henry Holton; born Bef. 1836 in Blaine, Lawrence, Kentucky; died March 21, 1891. She married (2) Millard Carter.
+ 125 iii.   Emily Ann Swetnam, born March 3, 1843 in Blaine, Lawrence, Kentucky; died August 8, 1880 in Blaine, Lawrence, Kentucky.
  126 iv.   Mary Elizabeth Swetnam, born May 16, 1845 in Blaine, Lawrence, Kentucky; died 1932. She married Henry Harrison Gambill; born December 17, 1844 in Lawrence Co, KY; died 1905.

      39. Zephaniah F.4 Swetnam (Neri3 Sweatman, John2, Alexander1) was born May 21, 1809 in Culpeper, VA, and died May 16, 1855 in Prescott, Iowa. He married Charlotte Burgess April 13, 1836 in Floyd, KY. She was born Bef. 1813 in Floyd, KY.

Notes for Zephaniah F. Swetnam:
Zepheniah moved with his wife to Oskaloosa, Iowa, possibly to seek his fortune. It is not known if he ever found his fortune.
Child of Zephaniah Swetnam and Charlotte Burgess is:
+ 127 i.   John James5 Swetnam, born November 9, 1849 in Johnson, KY; died February 24, 1917 in Lawrence, KY.

      40. John James4 Swetnam (Neri3 Sweatman, John2, Alexander1) was born June 10, 1811 in Culpeper, VA, and died August 18, 1898 in Bath, KY. He married (1) Rebecca Osborne November 22, 1840 in Floyd, KY, daughter of John Osborne and Elizabeth Flannery. She was born September 11, 1820 in VA, and died April 1, 1864 in Bath, KY. He married (2) Clarinda Elkin 1867 in Morgan Co., KY, daughter of Elkin and Richmond. She was born March 10, 1838 in Morgan Co., KY, and died January 5, 1914.

Notes for John James Swetnam:
John moved to Kentucky with his father at the age of eight, and eventually settling in Bath County, Kentucky on the waters of White Oak Creek where he owned and operated a farm for many years. John James, familiarly known as "Uncle John J." was twice married being the father of fourteen children. He and his father before him were early settlers in Bath County, Kentucky. He successfully engaged in his early days as a dry goods merchant, then as a teacher in the county schools and finally as a prosperous farmer in his community. John James was a Methodist Episcopal.

About 1833 or 1834, an Aunt of Mildred Cross Swetnam, named Cross, died in Culpeper County, Virginia. She was an extensive slave owner, and John James Swetnam and his brother Neri F. Swetnam went to Virginia to see about their mother's share of slaves. A short time before her death, the Aunt freed a large number and sent them with a boatload to Liberia, the remainder were willed to an aged sister her lifetime, then they were to have their freedom.

John James purchased about 1,000 acres of land on Red River in Wolfe county, Kentucky, about two miles from Hazelgreen. In 1862 or 1863 he purchased another farm of less acreage northwest of Owingsville, Kentucky on which a new home was under construction. He moved his family to Bath County during the spring or summer of 1863.

Rebecca Osborne died in 1864, and John James remarried to Clarinda (Elkin) Moore. Clarinda was a first cousin, once removed, of Rebecca. It is said of John James that he ruled his house well and that no man ever raised fourteen more honorable and creditable children than him.
Children of John Swetnam and Rebecca Osborne are:
+ 128 i.   James Manoah5 Swetnam, born November 11, 1841 in Morgan Co., KY; died February 4, 1921 in Phoenix, Arizona.
+ 129 ii.   Louisa Elizabeth Swetnam, born September 3, 1843 in Morgan Co., KY; died 1900.
+ 130 iii.   Issac Newton Swetnam, born March 7, 1846 in Hazelgreen, KY; died October 12, 1917 in Monterey, Monterey, CA.
+ 131 iv.   Laura Ann Swetnam, born January 29, 1848 in Morgan Co., KY; died October 9, 1937 in Owingsville, Bath, KY.
+ 132 v.   America Jane Swetnam, born March 27, 1850 in Morgan Co., KY; died July 27, 1884.
+ 133 vi.   John Neri Swetnam, born March 8, 1852 in Morgan Co., KY; died January 6, 1938.
+ 134 vii.   Rosa Lee Swetnam, born December 14, 1853 in Morgan Co., KY; died July 7, 1930.
+ 135 viii.   Nora Frances Swetnam, born December 22, 1855 in Morgan Co., KY; died November 7, 1932.
  136 ix.   Harlan Monroe Swetnam, born November 18, 1857; died 1922.
+ 137 x.   Leslie Emerson Swetnam, born May 11, 1860 in Morgan Co., KY; died November 15, 1923.
+ 138 xi.   Eustace Eugene Swetnam, born October 18, 1863 in Near Owingsville, Bath, KY; died February 25, 1919.
Children of John Swetnam and Clarinda Elkin are:
+ 139 i.   Mary Alice5 Swetnam, born February 4, 1868; died January 20, 1958.
+ 140 ii.   Paulina C. Swetnam, born October 6, 1871; died February 8, 1937 in Fleming County, KY.
+ 141 iii.   Robert Richmond Swetnam, born June 26, 1874.

      41. Neri Ficklin4 Swetnam (Neri3 Sweatman, John2, Alexander1) was born September 5, 1813 in Culpeper, VA, and died April 29, 1892. He married Serena Patrick 1858. She was born July 6, 1833 in Kentucky, and died 1920.

Notes for Neri Ficklin Swetnam:
Neri Ficklen Swetnam was a man of moderate stature with a pension for wanderlust. He was religious, and proud of his reputation for truthfulness. As a young man he made a trip on horse back through the wilderness to visit his ancestral home and family, the trip referred to here. This story was told in 1890 to Flora Stafford Swetnam, who told it to her son George Swetnam, who wrote of it in his book, Devils, Ghosts, and Witches;

"Night overtook me as I was riding along in a very wild area, but I determined to keep moving forward in hopes of finding some stopping place. Late in the night I sighted a light, and found it came from a large house. I called, and a man came to the door. After I had told my plight, he said: "I don't want to turn you away, but the only bed I can offer you is in a room said to be haunted." I told him that didn't worry me, and he showed me to a clean room, where I was soon asleep.

Before long I either dreamed or awoke to find someone was trying to pull me out of the bed. I fought against it, and it went away. Later I was again awakened, this time by a young woman with a lamp in her hand, who beckoned me to follow her. I did, and she went down the stairs and out into the yard a little way and pointed to a large stone at the foot of a beech tree. Then she disappeared, and I returned to bed and fell asleep.

Next morning I woke early and went outside, where I saw the beech tree of my dream, with the stone at its foot. I turned it over, and underneath I found several pieces of jewelry, including a ring, so small I could only get it on my little finger, and then not all the way.

Just then the man came out and called me to breakfast. While we were eating, he saw the ring and suddenly turned very pale.

"Stranger," he asked, "where did you get that ring?"

I told him about my dream and about looking under the stone and finding the jewelry.

"Stranger, " he said, "that was my dead wife's ring, We could never find it after she died."

He made a another trip before he was married, this time walking, to Iowa. It is not known when the trip was made or what the trip was made for. It was possibly made to visit or help his brother Zephaniah settle in, or possibly to settle his brother's estate after his death. Iowa was admitted as a state in 1846, and whenever his visit occurred, it must still have been pretty much of a frontier area. We do know that he had a companion on the return trip, and an interesting story about it has been preserved. As told in Kith and Kin;

"Early on the return trip, which must have taken a month or more, a dog attached himself to them, and proved himself a valuable member of their party. The dog appeared to be equally fond of both men, and as they neared the end of their journey, they decided that some way       must be found to decide whose the dog should be. Accordingly, they agreed that at the next fork in the road one man would take the right, the other the left, and let the dog decide which one he would follow. This was done; and the dog, in obvious distress, ran back and forth between the two men as they went separate ways. But the men went on unheeding, and the dog finally decided to stay with [Neri]. It has also been told that he had a way with dogs, that he would go in fearlessly where even the fiercest dogs were kept, and was never bitten."

"Pioneer life required a great deal of courage and self-reliance. The story is told of Neri Ficklen Swetnam, or possibly his father, that on one occasion he was harvesting wheat, with a hired man, using a cradle, (a scythe with an attachment of wooden bars for holding the cut stalks) according to the custom of the times. By some mischance Neri inhaled a wheat beard, which went well down into his windpipe and he was unable to cough it out. Experience had taught him that he was in great danger, that this object would quickly collect enough phlegm to make breathing impossible. Medical aid was out of the question. He told the hired man, "I can feel it, it's right here. Here's my knife, and it is sharp. Cut in there and get it out." The fired man demurred, afraid that the operation would prove fatal. But Neri said, "I'll certainly die if you don't do it. Go ahead and try." And the operation was successful."

After his return from Iowa, Neri settled on the home farm. He was a diligent and efficient farmer, successful and highly respected in the community. He was a faithful member of the Methodist Church, a man of exemplary life. He never used tobacco, and liquor only in great moderation.

Notes for Serena Patrick:
Serena Patrick, wife of Neri Ficklen Swetnam, was apparently of Irish decent. Serena had striking blue-black hair and blue eyes, and had a reputation for a ready wit and sharp tongue. Serena was the sister of Ann Patrick, who married Monroe Walter. They had two brothers, Rueben and Elijah, both of whom served in the Union Army in the Civil War. "Rube" was a scout, perhaps both of them were. Rube slipped into the Confederate camp and stole a cannon-dismantled it, and carried it off piece by piece, even the heavy barrel, as he was a very powerful man. After the war, the cannon was long kept on the public square at Salyersville, Kentucky, and may still be there. On one occasion "Lige" was captured by a Rebel patrol, and while they were camped for the night he waited until all were asleep, than attempted escape. As he was crossing a rail fence near the camp, the top rail suddenly broke, with a report, he afterward said, louder than any cannon shot. Immediately the camp was aroused with the cry, "The prisoner's loose!" Lanterns were lighted, and everyone started searching for him. It was in September, and, aware that if he ran his movements could be heard and followed, he leaped from the fence into a field grown up thick with tall Ironweed, and lay still. The search passed him by, and he made good his escape that time. But at another time he was taken prisoner and sent to the Confederate prison at Andersonville, Georgia. Probably all the prisons of that war were bad, but Andersonville was notorious. Typhoid was rampant, and little effort was made to provide clean drinking water. It was during that time that a spring broke out within the prison stockade, which the prisoners took to be a divine intervention in their behalf, an answer to the prayers of many.
Children of Neri Swetnam and Serena Patrick are:
  142 i.   John J.5 Swetnam, born Abt. 1851.
+ 143 ii.   William Wylie Swetnam, born December 21, 1863; died September 1940.
+ 144 iii.   Louisa Rebecca Swetnam, born October 17, 1866.
+ 145 iv.   Joseph T. Swetnam, born December 5, 1868; died February 13, 1949.
  146 v.   Hamilton B. Swetnam, born August 10, 1871. He married Bell Gambill.
  Notes for Hamilton B. Swetnam:
As told in George Swetnam's book, Devils, Ghosts, and Witches;

"Uncle Ham" was a big man, over six feet tall, and so strong that the town bully once said: "I'd rather be kicked by a mule than to have have Ham Swetnam hit me with his fist."

One evening after supper, Uncle Ham had walked over to the village [across a wooden bridge where it was said a man had been hanged in the pioneer days, and where strange things often happened. Teams of horses or oxen, usually tractable and well behaved, would often shy there at night or even in broad daylight, and could hardly be forced by the whip or goad to cross, although nothing could be seen], and on his return was overtaken by dark. The family heard him come running at top speed, and he jumped a four-foot paling fence into the yard rather than delay to open the gate. Although it was late October and the weather was crisp, he was out of breath and in a lather of sweat when he reached the house. He would never tell the reason for his haste, although it was well known he wasn't afraid of any man on Blaine Creek, armed or unarmed.

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