I am one of the authors of "Schwangers, Swangers and Swongers in America", so, not surprisingly, this is my main focus of research. I have found that more than 90% of people in America with any of these surnames are descended from one immigrant couple -- Jacob Schwanger and Maria Susanna Leyenberger -- who landed in Philadelphia in 1747. I also research variants names, such as Swonguer, Swanner, and Swaner, and other "Sw" surnames that sometimes get confused with the Swanger surname group. I have sizeable databases for Swauger, Swogger, Swager, Swiger, and Swander, among others. For the Swanner surname group, found mostly in the south, there is one large group descended from Matthias Tobias Swanner of North Carolina that is not related to Swanger and a second, smaller group that came about as a name switch from Swanger. I am happy to exchange information and answer queries for any of these surnames provided that the willingness to share goes both directions.
As a secondary interest, I research names in my own pedigree and those of my first wife (Stockwell, Riley, Stewart, etc.) and my second wife (Castro, Costa, Mello, etc.). I am currently working on such names as Rhone, Hershey, Hurst, Pearson, Foulk, Cook(e), and Thornberry. I am interested in the Cook ancestry of Lucy Ware Webb (nicknamed "Lemonade Lucy"), wife of Rutherford B. Hayes because she was supposedly a cousin of one of my ancestors and the information "out there" presents two contradictory views regarding her Cook(e) ancestry. Please e-mail me if you have interest, information, or queries regarding any of these surnames.
- Edna May Woods Swonger (1882-1974) (1107 KB)
- Reformed Church in Rauweiler (140 KB)
This reformed Church in Rauweiler, built in 1733, houses the baptism records for the six European-born children on Jacob Schwanger.
- James Franklin Swanger Jr. (1876-1958) (774 KB)
My grandfather as a young man.
- James Franklin Swonger Sr. and Idealla Beatta Rohn (215 KB)
My Swonger great-grandparents: James Franklin Swonger Sr. (1847-1937) and Idealla Beatta Rohn (1853-1927). They lived in Kansas.
- Mona Carrol Foulk Swonger and son Ron (875 KB)
My mother at about age 34 and brother, Ron.
- James Franklin Swonger Jr. family (164 KB)
My Swonger grandparents: James Franklin Swonger (1876-1958) Jr. and Edna May Woods (1882-1974). The children are my father, Clair Woods Swonger (1904-1962), and my aunt, Ruth Gladys Swonger Henning (1908-1999). They lived in Kansas. My grandfather was an avid and skilled cribbage player.
- My sister and I visiting paternal grandparents. (519 KB)
My Swonger grandparents lived in Kansas and we lived in Massachusetts, so visits were infrequent but special.
- Isaac W. Zigler (1846-1903) (206 KB)
- Ellen Sylvira Hurst Foulk (1858-1943) (839 KB)
- Lydia Josephine Miller (1847-1935) (715 KB)
Wife of Isaac W. Zigler; my greatgrandmother.
- Five daughters of Isaac and Lydia Zigler (459 KB)
Not sure which is which, but from oldest to youngest they were: Anna Elizabeth
(1873-1954), Eliza Magdelene (1876-1968), Mary Margaret (1879-1960), Sarah Susan (1881-1970), and Daisy Pearl (1884-1961). Daisy was my grandmother.
- Robert Camden Foulk and Daisy Pearl Zigler Foulk (328 KB)
My maternal grandparents
- Davidson Woods family (903 KB)
Davidson Woods (1849-1926), wife Catherine May Potterf (1855-1943), and children H. Courtney Woods and Edna May Woods. Edna was my grandmother.
- Susannah Margaret Shideler Potterf (971 KB)
My great-great grandmother (1835-1919).
- Family Group of the Schwanger immigrant, Jacob (7 KB)
Jacob Schwanger immigrated into Philadelphia in 1747 from the Lorraine Province, then part of Germany. His eldest six children were born in Europe and four others were born in Pennsylvania. More than 90% of Schwangers, Swangers, and Swongers and about 20% of Swanners in America descend from this family.
- Family Group of Paul Swanger, eldest son of Jacob (6 KB)
Most Swangers who live east of the Susquehanna River in PA today descend from Paul's son Nicholas. Most of those whose ancestors lived at one time in Altoona, PA descend from Paul's grandson David, via Christopher.
- Family Group of Isaac Swanger, son of Jacob (3 KB)
Descendents of Isaac are mainly in southwestern Ohio.
- Family Group of Philip Swanger, son of Jacob Jr. (7 KB)
Descendents of Philip Swanger are numerous in central Pennsylvania and up-state New York.
- Family Group of John Swanger of Carter Co, TN (6 KB)
Nearly all Swangers and about 20% of Swanners/Swaners who live in the south descend from John Swanger. Those of us who have studied the question thoroughly believe that John Swanger is probably a son of Jacob Schwanger Jr. and a grandson of the immigrant Jacob Schwanger, but conclusive proof is lacking.
- Family Group of Michael Swonger Jr. (7 KB)
Michael Swonger Jr., my ancestor, is son of Michael Swonger Sr. and grandson of the immigrant Jacob Schwanger. His descendents are found especially in southwestern Ohio.
- Family Group of Abraham Swanger, Jacob's youngest. (7 KB)
Abraham Swanger was youngest son of the immigrant, Jacob Schwanger. He fought in the Revolutionary War. His line of descendents is the largest for children of Jacob, accounting for about 3/8ths of all Swangers and Swongers in America. Many live in northwestern and northcentral Ohio, Kansas, Washington State, Wisconsin, and elsewhere.
- Ahnentafel Listing for Alvin Kent Swonger (435 KB)
This is a compact but comprehensive listing of my ancestors.