Swain vs. Swaine vs. Swayne vs. Swan merge.

+6 votes
No kidding! All four names are in play: Swayne & Swaine in the merging profiles, Swan & Swain for the respective fathers. I picked Swaine to merge into, whose father was Swain So, here's a question about the merge proposed for Swayne-91 and Swaine-200, Richard Swayne/Swaine. One of the managers of Swayne-91 insisted the destination s/b Swayne-91, changed it to Unmerged Match.

I'm not strongly attached to one spelling or another. I suspect all those spellings (and perhaps more) were in use back pre-1600. If you look at Swayne-91, you find the father is Swain and a "brother" also the proposed merge is Swaine-200.

Same mother, different fathers (Swan-195 and Swain-13). Hard to argue it isn't the same person IMO. But the question is to choose a LNAB when really all those names are in use. New England: The Great Migration and the The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1635 has it as Swaine, which perhaps is a good enough source to settle the ambiguity of multiple spellings. (The link is [http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?rank=1&new=1&MSAV=1&msT=1&gss=angs-c&gsfn=richard&gsln=swaine&gsln_x=NN&msbdy=1595&msbpn__ftp=England&cpxt=0&catBucket=rstp&uidh=qv6&msbdp=5&_83004003-n_xcl=f&cp=0&mssng0=Ann&mssns0=Trumbull&pcat=40&h=17875&recoff=4+5&db=GreatMigration&indiv=1&ml_rpos=1 behind the ancestry.com subscription wall].) On the other hand, the only existing tag which pops up is Swain.

Is the "Great Migration" book the final arbiter on the spelling of those last names? Even the bio section of the Swayne-91 profile quotes sources spelling it as Swaine.

I'd hate to see this go unmerged over the spelling of the last name, when it's clearly the same person.
WikiTree profile: Richard Swain
in Policy and Style by Anonymous Winter G2G6 Mach 7 (71.7k points)
retagged by Keith Hathaway
The link provided above goes to someone entirely different. I find no profile for Richard Swaine in GMB. Please advise.

3 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer

The SWAINE spelling is from a 1999 article in The American Genealogist. This article also makes the case for the immigrant's father being WILLIAM. But note the very bottom of my notes below. So William should be marked as uncertain.

Excerpts from: Clifford L. Stott, “The English Origins of Richard1 Swaine of Hampton, New Hampshire, and Nantucket,” The American Genealogist, 74(1999):241-

Describes 1997 research done of parish registers and Bishops’ Transcripts of the following:

Binfield, Berkshire, England:

  • Francis, son of Richard Swaine, bpt 25 Jan 1620/1

Neighboring parish of Easthamstead:

  • Nicholas
  • Grace
  • Richard (bur Easthamstead 1633)
  • John (mother identified as “Basill” – known name of wife of the immigrant)

All identical in name and approx. age with proven offspring of the New England immigrant.

19 Sep 1662: Richard while living on Nantucket, made deposition in case of William Fifield in which Richard stated he was “aged about 67 years” confirming that he was born about 1595.

Btw 1570-1600, three Richard Swaines were baptized at Binfield (no parents identified):

1.     26 Mar 1578

2.     18 Aug 1594

3.     26 Sep 1595 ß concludes this is “our” Richard due to following burial dates


Richard Swaines bur at Binfield,  1570-1649:

1.     26 Mar 1578

2.     19 Aug 1594


Richard, the immigrant, was NOT the Richard SRAYNE, 34, on the Sep 1635 passenger list of the Truelove. Richard’s two eldest sons, William, 16 and Francis, age 14, arrived in New England on the Rebecca in Apr 1635.

He was not the Richard SWAN who settled in Rowley, MA.

First evidence of Richard SWAINE found in New England: 6 Sep 1638 when among those given permission to establish a plantation at Winnacunnet (with Rev. Stephen Bachiler). Name changed to Hampton (New Hampshire) in 1639. Had dau Elizabeth bpt at Newbury 9 Oct 1638 recorded in Hampton town records.

18 Mar 1638/9 – made freeman.

Released from military training in 1653.

2 Jul 1659, Thomas Mayhew of Martha’s Vineyard sold rights of land in Nantucket to a group of men, including Richard Swaine.

18 Oct 1659: among list of eight men charged by the General Court for entertaining Quakers.

With wife Jane and sons John and Richard, removed to Nantucket by 16 Oct 1661 when he sold several parcels of his Hampton land to Benjamin Swett.

2 Jul 1663 purchased Wm Pile’s one-tenth share in the antucket patent; four days later deeded half of this to son-in-law Nathaniel Boulter.

1664: chosen surveyor of highways.

Left no will. Executed three deeds 28 Feb 1676/7, effectually disposing of his Nantucket property.


Stott’s article closes with a note about having been contacted by another researcher, not named, who had come to the same conclusions independently with the exception of the identity of the immigrant’s father (as William). That researcher was supposedly publishing a book.

by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (803k points)
selected by Cheryl Cunningham

[Had to break up my notes; g2g wouldn't allow all the content in one message]


1.     Robert Swaine b abt 1497; bur Binfield 16 Mar1556/7; prob he who witnessed will of Nicholas Swayne ofBinfield in 1556; this will mentions Nicholas’ eldest son John and several minor children, names not stated. Robert’s estate was administered 22 Apr 1558 by son William.

a.     William Swaine, b abt 1527; m Binfield 20 Apr 1567 Joan (Dee) Miller, parents unknown; widow of John Miller (m 23 Nov 1549; he bur 20 Dec 1562; there were several Miller children; other legatees include William “Swan”; William Swaine also witnessed the will). Bur 20 Jan 1609/10 as “William Swaine the elder.” Cousin of John Swayne with whom he was named oversees of will of John Swaine of Binfield 1573; may have been brothers. Among will of this John Swayne was a son Francis Swayne. William Swayne and his apparent stepson, John Miller, were appointed overseers of Francis’ will in 1592. Another John Swaine appointed William Swaine, the elder, “friend,” to oversee his will in 1601.  Will of William Swaine the elder, yeoman, 11 Oct 1609, proved 21 Apr 1610, mentions only one son, William, but each of the children of this son is carefully identified in birth order:

                                               i.     William Swayne [jr], bp Binfield 13 Aug 1567; m. (Elizabeth?); bur 8 Jun 1630. Churchwarden 1616; no probate found; children identified in will of his father

1.     William Swayne/Swaine, bp 23 Apr 1592; m Elizabeth bef 1636

2.     Richard bp 18 Aug 1594; bur Binfield 19 Aug 1594

3.     Richard Swayne “second son” bp 26 Sep 1595; m1? Basill ___, m2? 15 Sep 1658Jane (____) Bunker, widow of George Bunker of Topsfield, MA; she d Nantucket 31 Oct 1662. Richard d Nantucket Island 14 Apr 1682. Richard’s first proven wife was Basill; she d at Hampton, NH 15 Jul 1657; children:

a.     William Swaine b abt 1619; arr Boston on the Rebecca in 1635, age 16; d. at sea; m abt 1649 Prudence Marston, dau of William; she 2 in Hampton 16 June 1658 Moses Cox

b.     Francis Swaine, bp Binfield Berks25 Jan 1620/1; arr Boston on the Rebecca in1635, age 14; prob d at Newtown Queens Co., LI bef 11 Apr1665 when his estate was admin; m Martha ___ who m2 Caleb Leverich

c.      Nicholas Swaine, bp Easthamstead, Berks, 5 Mar 1623/4; d Hampton NY 18 Aug 1650; unmarried

d.     Grace Swaine, bp Easthamstead 25 Mar1627/8; m abt 1647 Nathaniel Boulter

e.     Richard Swaine, bp Easthamstead 6 Mar 1630/1; bur there29Aug 1633

f.      John Swaine, bp Easthamstead 5 Oct 1634; d Nantucket bef 7 Jan 1717/8,when will proved; m Hampton 15 Nov 1660 Mary Weare, dau of Nathaniel Weare of Hampton

g.     Elizabeth Swaine bp Newbury MA 9 Oct 1638; d Hampton 10 Feb 1712/3; m Newbury 3 Dec 1656 Nathaniel Weare, son of Nathaniel Weare of Hampton.

h.     [by second wife?] Richard Swaine, b Hampton 13 Jan 1659/60; d intestate, Cape May NJ bef 6 Oct 1706 when Jonathan Swainemade an accounting of his father’s estate; name of Richard’s wife not determined.

4.     Elizbaeth Swayne dau bp 11 Jan 1597/8 “dau of Willm Swaine Junr”; m Binfield 27 Aug 1621 Henry Rogers

5.     Edward Swayne, “thirde sonne” bp 1 Jun 1600; m Binfield 29 Apr 1630, Joan ____

6.     Francis “fowerths sonne” bp 24 Apr 1603; m Binfield 26 Mar 1638 Anne Reeve

7.     Margaret Swaine, bp 6 Apr 1606; no burial found; prob d bef 11 ocg 1609 (not mentioned in g’fa’s will)

8.     Grace Swayen, youngest daughter; nfr


+3 votes
I concur with using Anderson as the arbiter in cases like this. Spelling variations come up frequently in 17th century names and Wikitree requires that one name be preferred while others can be listed as alternates. There should be only one profile for one individual and that means that one preferred name must be chosen. Anderson's Great Migration books seem to be the best choice as arbiter, unless some compelling reason exists for using another spelling.
by Henry Chadwick G2G6 Mach 4 (49.3k points)
Henry is right.  For those people profiled by Anderson, we go with the spelling he used.
NOTE: Anderson does not profile Richard Swaine in his Great Migration series.
+3 votes
Okay, someone completed the merge (correctly into SWAINE) but selected the wrong parents.
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (803k points)

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