swartwood-button.gif (1681 bytes) history-mast.gif (3409 bytes)

The Swartwoods were involved in the settling of America from 1650 to the present day. They helped to fight the Indians, clear the land, plant the crops. They fought wild animals, built their homes out of logs or whatever else was available. Often times they paid with their lives for their pioneering spirit. There were 28 Swartwoods who fought in the Revolutionary War. Afterwards, they returned to their farms and families and picked up where they had left off.

From the original Swartwout (Tomys in 1650) to the present day, there have been thousands of Swartwood descendents.

Tomys Swartwout came to America about 1650 and settled in what is now Brooklyn, New York. In 1664, England seized New Netherlands from the Dutch and changed the name to New York. The Swartwouts then spread out, up the Hudson River and across the State of New York to the Delaware River, and down into New Jersey. In 1741, Bernardus Swartwout (1697-1773) purchased land in Lehman Township in what is now Pike County, PA. By the year 1802, Peter, James, John and Daniel Swartwout had changed the spelling of their names to Swartwood and were living in what is now Swartwood, NY. They were primarily farmers or lumbermen, and as the towns became crowded and the timber got scarce, they moved westward trough New York into Ohio, Illinois and Michigan. After the Civil War, they continued moving westward and southward into Kansas, Texas, California and Washington state. Today, you can find Swartwoods, Swartwouts, etc. in almost every state.

It is not known where in Europe the Swartwood family originated. But the Swartwoldt family belonged to the Free Manor Holders who during the whole of the Middle Ages from the time of Charlemagne (800) protested against Romanism and Feudalism -- against Pope and Emperor. They welcomed the Reformation as the final break with Roman domination.

Holland, the country where the Swartwoods came from, had been ruled by several countries. After the Reformation, it was ruled by Germany and then Spain. In 1579, the Northern Provinces of Holland banded together under William the Silent, Prince of Orange. In what is known as the Union of Ulbrecht, they pledged their mutual support of each other while retaining individual control of their respective Provinces. They agreed to form a Federation called "The States General." This body was to control foreign affairs as well as maintain a defense of its individual members. This led in 1581 to their independence from Spain.

In 1614, The States General granted a patent to a group of merchants for exclusive trade on the Hudson River. These merchants, known as the West Indian Company, established a colony at what is now Albany, NY.

New Netherlands was established in 1624 when Henry Hudson left eight men on Manhattan Island while he sailed up the Hudson River to what is now Albany. In 1626, Peter Minuit bought the Island of Manhattan from the Man-a-hat-a Indians for trinkets valued at about $24. In 1664, British troops seized New Netherlands from the Dutch who yielded peacefully. Charles the Second, King of England, then granted the Province of New Netherland to his brother, the Duke of York, who renamed it New York. The Dutch recaptured it in 1673 but ceded it to Britain in 1674.

The family name appears on church and court records spelled in various ways:

The earliest Swartwout was Willima Zwartwelt who on August 10, 1459 obtained a lease on two adjoining tracts of land near the city of Groningen, Holland. He was at that time a Warden of a defensive tower -- a position held only by persons highly trustworthy and of known loyalty.

Gronigern is the principal city of Northern Holland and is the capital city of the Province of Gronigern. It is situated about 20 miles southwest of the estuary of the Ems River and about 30 miles east of the city of Leewarden. It is a center of commerce for Northern Holland.

The ancestor in Holland from whom the American family claims descent was Roeloff Swartwout of Gronigern, Holland. Roeloff was born about 1585 and married Catryna (last name unknown) sometime before 1607. He died in 1634, and she predeceased him. They had four sons -- Wybrant, Tomys, Herman and Aldert.

In 1629, Tomys, Wybrandt and Herman were successful tobacco merchants in Amsterdam. They would import the tobacco from New Netherlands and resell it throughout northern and western Europe. In February 1630, Tomys married Adrientje Bymons. In December 1630, she died in childbirth. Jan, who survived his mother, was raised by his maternal grandparents. Nothing more is known of him.

Tomys married again in June 1631 to Hendrickjen Barents, daughter of a book publisher in Amsterdam. Tomys and Hendrickjen were the parents of two sons, Roeloff and Barent, and two daughters, Catryna and Jacomijnje.

In 1658, Tomys appeared in court and requested the small-burgher right which was necessary to engage in mercantile business. He took the oath and paid the required fee -- 20 guilders. Having for many years vainly solicited letter -- patent for the land occupied and cultivated by him at Midwout -- he received on March 7, 1661, from Director Stuyvesant the long-desired instrument of writing, placing him in legal possession of his farm of 58 morgens -- about 116 British acres. Intending to move to Wiltwijick -- now Kingston, New York -- he sold one half of his farm to his friend Jan Snedeker.

In 1662, Tomys Swartwout was a sponsor for the baptism of his grandson, Antonni, the second son of his son Roeloff. No other record has been found of Tomys and rumor says he returned to Holland after the death of his wife. The only child of Tomys who appears in the records was Roeloff. Whether or not the other children survived and married is not known.

Roeloff Swartwout, son of Tomys, was appointed to the offices of trust by the Prince of Orange, holding the appointment of Collector of The Kings Revenue. He was also a delegate to the Provincial Assembly representing Ulster County. He was a resident and freeholder of Beverwyck (Albany) from 1656 to 1660. On August 13, 1657, he married Eva Albertse (Bradt) deHooges, the widow of Anthony deHooges. Before they moved to the Esopus (about 55 miles south of Albany), Roeloff made a trip back to Holland for farm implements and supplies.

While in Holland, he was appointed the first Sheriff of Esopus. (in 1653, several colonists in Renesselaerswyck bought land from the Indians on Esopus Creek. This land was on the west side of the Hudson River, about 55 miles south of the present city of Albany.) In 1659, about 60 people were living there. Roeloff's first wife Eva died sometime before 1691, and he married Francyntje Andries on October 8, 1691. He died at Hurley, New York, in May 1715.

Roeloff Swartwout and Eva Albertise deHooges children

Antoni Swartwout, baptized May 11, 1664 in Albany, New York, married Jannetje Coobes. Antoni died in Maghaghkmeck (Deerpark), Orange County, New York, in 1700.

Antoni Swartwout and Janetje Coobes children

Bernardus Swartwout, baptized October 31, 1697, married Grietjen (Margariet) Dekker, baptized March 30, 1700, daughter of Jacob Dekker and Annetje Kortright. Bernardus died in 1773 at Delaware Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania.


Last Will And Testament of Bernardus Swartsworth
Dated June 7, 1773

In the Name of God Amen: I Bernardus Swartsworth, of the Township of Delaware, in the County of Northampton, of the Province of Pennsylvania: yeoman, being weak of body but sound mind and memory, (Blessed Be God Therefor) do this day, being the seventh day of June in the Year of Our Lord Christ, One Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy Three; make and publish this my Last Will And Testament, in manner and form following. (That is to say)

Imprimus:

I commend my Soul into the hands of Almighty God, Who gave it to me; and my body to the earth from whence it came, in hope of a joyful Resurrection, through the Merits of my Savior Jesus Christ. And as for that worldly estate, wherewith it has pleased God to bless me, I dispose thereof as follows.

Item:

I give to my beloved daughter, Margaret Cole, my largest pewter platter, copper tea kettle and iron frying pan. To descend after her death to her daughter, Gennet (Jennetke).

Item:

I give and bequeath unto my Eldest Son, Jacob Swartsworth, all my wearing apparel of every sort, and my male negro child.

Item:

I give unto my beloved son, Thomas Swartsworth, his choice of one of my horses. If any I have at my decease. And in case I die destitute of horses, my will is that my executors shall pay unto my son, Thomas, fourteen pounds proclamation in lieu of such horse.

Item:

I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter, Elizabeth Swartsworth, my two quart pewter basin, one pewter plate, two tea cups and saucers, the basket in which my tea cups are commonly kept, my pewter teapot, the featherbed on which I sleep, together with the bedstead cords, two sheets, four pillows with their cases, and three blankets and one white sheet with two large headed ribbets in the forepart of the legs, and one cow; which legacy hereby given to Elizabeth; after her natural decease I give and bequeath unto such person or persons as shall be at expense of burying her decently.

Item:

I give unto my beloved grandson, Peter Swartsworth, my largest iron kettle. And to his wife, Elizabeth, one Dutch Blanket.

Item:

I give unto my beloved grandson, Bernardus Denmark, two of my smallest guns with their locks; my two steel traps and my loome. To be delivered to him by my executors when he shall arrive at the age of twenty-one years.

Item:

I give unto my beloved grandson, Bernardus Swartsworth, the eldest son of my son, Thomas, my largest gun with the lock, and all my blacksmith tools, bellows, anvil, etc., to be delivered to him when he shall arrive at the age of twenty-one years.

Item:

I give and bequeath unto my beloved granddaughter, Jennet (Jennekte) Caster (Custer), one milk cow, two sheeps, and the smallest of my iron pots.

Item:

I give and bequeath all the rest or remainder of my household furniture or indoor movables, which are used in or about the house (Moneys, Bonds, Notes, and Debts of all kinds excepted), unto my beloved daughters, Margaret Cole and Sarah Caster, share and share equally, to be divided alike and my will is that after the decease of my said daughter, Sarah Caster, my will is that the whole of her share descend to her daughter, Margaret, to whom I give the half shared by her mother of all my indoor movables.

Item:

My will is that my servant wench Susanna, all my farming utensils, all my cattle, horses, sheep, hoggs, poultry and outdoor movables (except such as are heretofore given away by this my Last Will and Testament) be sold at publick vandue, by my Executors hereafter names.

Item:

I give and bequeath unto the four children of my beloved daughter, Lea Denmark, the sum of twenty pounds each; to wit to Onchy Ostrong (Annetje Armstrong), the sum of twenty pounds; to Claudina Chambers, the sum of twenty pounds, and to Christer (Christopher) Denmark, the sum of twenty pounds, all Proclamation Money; and my will is that all and each of them severally, shall have their gifts of twenty pounds paid to them by my executors herinafter named, within two years after my natural decease.

Item:

I give unto my beloved granddaughter, Nealky (Neeltje) Swartsworth, the daughter of my deceased son, Antony Swartsworth, the sum of twenty pounds Proclamation, to be paid to her within two years after my natural decease by my executors, and in case either of my five last mentioned grandchildren shall die and leave no lawful issue, my will is that the surviving or survivor shall share the legacy of the person so dividing equally between them.

Item:

I give and bequeath unto the five sons of my beloved son, Bernardus Swartsworth, deceased, (to wit) Samuel, Anthony, Benjamin, Moses, and Geradus, twenty pounds Proclamation to each and every one of them severally; to be paid to them by my executors as they and each of them shall arrive to the age of twenty-one years. To Samuel twenty pounds, to Anthony twenty pounds, to Benjamin twenty pounds, to Moses twenty pounds, and to Geradus twenty pounds. And is case any one or more of the last mentioned brethren die under age, then my will is that the surviving brothers share and share alike.

Item:

My will is that whereas I am of opinion that Adam Shick, now hath in his hand, effects or moneys to the value of sixty pounds Proclamation, which was my property, and in possession of my beloved son, Benjamin, at the time of his decease, my will is that my executors take advice of council learned in the law concerning the premises and proceed or not proceed against said Adam Shick according to council or direction, so obtained. And in case any sum or sums of monies shall be recovered from said Adam Shick my will is that the whole sum thereof with interest thereon arising, be paid unto my beloved grandson, Minne Swartsworth, when he shall come to the age of twenty-one years.

Item:

My will is that my executors hereinafter names, shall take the sum of one hundred and thirty pounds Proclamation, from such monies as are in their hands, and invest same at interest, and it is my will that the interest thereon arising be paid yearly to the person or persons who shall take charge and care of my daughter, Elizabeth, and cause that she be comfortably and decently maintained and kept, and after the decease of my daughter, Elizabeth, my will is that the aforesaid one hundred thirty pounds be equally divided between my son, Jacob, and my daughters, Margaret Cole, Sarah Caster, and Mary Mullen, and my grandson, Bernardus Swartsworth, the son of my son, Thomas, share and share alike equally; or in case of either of their decease, to their lawful survivors or heirs.

Item:

I give and bequeath and devise all my real estate, lands and tenants, equally to be divided: #1, unto my son, Jacob Swartsworth, and to the heirs of his body lawfully begotten forever, I give and devise one-fifth of all my land. #2, unto my daughter, Margaret Cole, I give and bequeath and hereby devise one equal fifth part of al my land to remain to her and to the heirs of Harmonis Cole and to the heirs of her body lawfully begotten forever. #3, unto my daughter, Sarah Caster, and to the heirs of her body lawfully begotten, I give and devise one equal fifth part of all m land forever. #4, unto my daughter, Mary Mullen, and to the heirs of her body lawfully begotten, I give and devise one equal fifth part of all my lands forever. #5, and unto my grandson, Bernardus Swartsworth, the son of my son, Thomas, and the heirs of his body lawfully begotten one equal fifth part of all my lands forever.

Item:

I hereby give and devise and my will is that my son, Jacob Swartsworth, my daughters, Margaret Cole, Sarah Caster, Mary Mullen, and my grandson, Bernardus Swartsworth, the son of my son, Thomas, shall enter the land and tenements for one full year after my decease and the same divide equally in quantity and quality and make to each other good and sufficient releases in law and I do by virtue of this my last will and testament, ratify and confirm to them and to the heirs of their bodies forever all such devises as shall by them be released to each other.

Item:

My will is that my executors cause my body to be buried in a decent and Christian like manner and defray the expense of my funeral with assets in their hands.

Lastly:

I nominate and appoint, and by these presents constitute and ordain, my beloved friends, Mr. John Depue and Mr. Benjamin Depue, my sole and only executors to this my last will and testament. Recommending to them the assistance of my good friend, Mr. John Brink, and my good friends, Manuel Gonzales and William Smith, for advising in the premise, whom I appoint as overseers to take care that this my last will and testament, be actually fulfilled according to the true intent and meaning thereof.

In witness whereof, I the said testator, Bernardus Swartsworth, have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal, the day, month and year first written.

Signed, sealed, published, and declared by the said Bernardus Swartsworth, as and for his last will and testament, in the presence of us whose names are hereunder written who did each of us subscribe our names as witnesses at his request and in his presence, in the room where he then was.

The 24th day of March, 1774, before me Lewis Gordon, Deputy Register for the County of Northampton; did appear John Depue, Benjamin Depue, and John Symmes, the said witnesses to the foregoing last will and testament of Bernardus Swartsworth, deceased. Being duly sworn they did declare that they were present, and did see the said testator set his mark to the same, expressed to be the mark of him the said Bernardus and that they saw him also seal, publish, and declare the same as and for his last will and testament. And that at the time thereof the said testator was of sound mind and memory and understanding to the best of these deponents knowledge and belief and that John Symmes did see William Ennes sign his name and did see Henry Cuthright make his mark, to the above document as witnesses in the presence of the said testator at his request and in his presence and the presence of one another,

signed
Lewis Gordon


Bernardus Swartwout and Margriet Dekker children

As a note of interest, Bernardus survived his wife and three sons. Anthony and his wife were scalped by Indians in 1755 along with three of their sons. Benjamin died in 1759 and Bernardus Jr. in 1768. Jacobus survived his parents but died in 1775. Bernardus (1697) purchased land in Lehman Township, Pike County, Pennsylvania in 1741. (Lehman was originally in Bucks County, then Northampton, now Pike County.)

In the 1690s the western part of what is now Orange County, NY, as well as a 40-mile section of the Delaware River from present day Stroudsburg, PA, to Port Jervis, NY, was known as Minnesinck. This name was given to this area by the Dutch and the Swedes. Some say it refers to the zinc mines, while others say it refers to the Indians who lived there. The Swartwout-Swartwood families were some of the first settlers of this area. They would cross back and forth across the Delaware River from New Jersey, where it was fairly well civilized, to Pennsylvania where the Indians were not too happy to see the white man stealing their land and killing their people. It was quite common to live in New Jersey and have your farm in Pennsylvania. It was also common to have to swim the river if the Indians felt like harassing you. It was almost 1800 before the Pennsylvania side was safe to build homes on and feel safe from the Indians.

Jacobus Swartwout, baptized January 16, 1726, married on June 8, 1745, Lydia Dekker, baptized February 11, 1728 in Kingston, NY, daughter of Willem Dekker and Neeltje Roosa. Jacob and Lydia settled in Upper Smithfield, PA, and Walpack, NJ. Four sons served in The Revolutionary War: Johannes, Daniel, Peter, and Jacobus. Jacobus died in 1775 and his son Peter was granted Letters of Administration to Probate his Estate.

Jacobus Swartwout and Lydia Dekker children

Note: Petrus, Jacobus, Johannes, and Daniel all changed the spelling of their names and all four brothers moved to what is now Chemung County, NY. A search of the counties of Chemung, Steuben, Schuyler, Tioga, Tompkins, Allegany and Broome, NY, have failed to turn up a Will for any of the four brothers even though all of them died in Chemung or Tioga County, NY.

The times they lived in were very difficult. There were Indian uprisings, the Revolutionary War, frontier hardships and land disputes. Many of the settlers came into Tioga (Chemung) County, NY, because of conditions in northern Pennsylvania. Under grants from the King of England, these northern counties of Pennsylvania were supposed to be a part of the State of Connecticut. Following the war, these grants were declared invalid and the people were driven out, and their property confiscated. Many came north to the Chemung Valley.

The history of Chemung County makes reference to the fact that General Jacob Swartwood settled in what is now Van Etten, Chemung County, about 1790 having come from near Port Jervis, Orange County, New York. Jacob was joined soon after by his brothers Isaac and Emanuel. In 1797, they were joined by Jacob's father, Peter Swartwood, and his family, as well as Peter's brother, John and John's family.

1778 -- July 3, the Peter Swartwood family missed the Wyoming Massacre as they were on a visit to Upper Smithfield, Pennsylvania.

1779-1780-1781 -- Served in the Walpack, Sussex County, New Jersey Militia where he continued to live for one year after the Revolutionary War.

1784 -- Moved to Upper Smithfield, Northampton County, where he lived for three years.

1786 -- Tax List, Delaware Township, Peter Swardwood was taxed for two horses and two head of cattle.

1787 -- Peter moved to Wyoming, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, where he lived for nine year.

1797 -- Moved to Tioga (now Schuyler) County, New York, town of Spencer (now Cayuta).

1802 -- Peter purchased from Isaac Swartwood (his son) 74 acres of land in Spencer (Cayuta).

1827 -- Peter sells 74 acres to his grandson, Abram Swartwood.

1835 -- Peter is living with Abram in Cayuta where he continued to live until his death in 1841.

Peter Swartwood, born January 15, 1747, Upper Smithfield, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, died May 28, 1841, Cayuta, Chemung County, New York. Married first, Elizabeth Schoonmaker about 1768. Elizabeth died about 1783 and Peter married second, Sarah Baker. Sarah, daughter of Jonathon and Nancy Ann Baker, born 1757 and died March 31, 1842, in Cayuta. Peter and Sarah are buried in the Swartwood Cemetery in Van Etten, New York.

Peter Swartwood and Elizabeth Schoonmaker Children

Peter Swartwood and Sarah Baker Children

Isaac Swartwood, born Delaware Township, Northampton County (now Pike County, PA). Baptized July 1, 1771, Walpack Church, Sussex County, New Jersey. Died January 12, 1849, Owego, Tioga County, New York. Married first Annie Courtright, daughter of Jacobus Courtright and Anna Quick. Born 1775 Sussex County, New Jersey. Died June 4, 1828, Cayuta, Tioga (now Schuyler) County, New York. Both Isaac and Annie are burried in the "Lost Cemetery" in Van Etten, New York.

Isaac Swartwood married second Hannah Shoemaker, daughter of Daniel Shoemaker and Anna McDowell. He settled in the Cayuta Creek Valley about 1797. He built the first sawmill in 1800, replaced his log house with a frame house in 1802, and the next year built the first grist mill in the town. He quarried the mill stones near Towanda, Pennsylvania; cut, dressed them himself, and drew them to their destination with ox teams crossing Cayuta Creek seven times upon his return when there were no bridges, and cutting the brush in advance of his teams most of the way. At the time there were no mills nearer than Tioga Point. On July 12, 1817, Isaac and Anna Swartwood deeded the grist mill and 126 acres to John Bushkirk for $3,400.00.

Jacob Swartwood, born 1792, Delaware Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania. Married Hannah Barnes, daughter of Abram Barnes and Ruth Thomas, about 1810. Jacob died May 26, 1864, in Van Etten.

Jacob C. Swartwood and Hannah Barnes Children

Sarah (Sally) Swartwood, born February 7, 1795, Upper Smithville, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, married John Cooper, son of William and Hannah Cooper. John Cooper, born March 10, 1799, town of Pawling, Dutchess County, New York, and died in Jackson County, Wisconsin. Sarah named after her paternal grandmother, Sarah Baker.

Sarah Swartwood and John Cooper Children

Abram Swartwood, born 1798, Cayuta, New York, married 1818 to Jane Baker, born January 28, 1798, in England died September 18, 1853, in Amity (Belmont) Aleghany County, New York. Abram died November 29, 1883, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Abram married second Anna E. Whitcomb, widow of Hiram Whitcomb. Anna died in Wadsworth, Medina County, Ohio, in 1879.

Peter Swartwood, born October 20, 1805, Tioga County, New York, died December 23, 1855, Van Etten. Buried in Swartwood Cemetary, Van Etten. Married first, Margaret Myers, born January 22, 1804, died March 1846. Married second, Eleanor. In his Will dated 1855, Alonzo, his son, is Administrator and he mentions his wife, Eleanor, and the following children: Alonzo, Elizabeth Woolover, Leroy, Andrew, Lenora and Lucerne. The last two are children of Peter and Eleanor.

Emanuel Swartwood, born 1806, Tioga County, New York, died July 16, 1866. Married Wyanee about 1830. Wyanee was born 1813 and died October 7, 1849.

Emanuel Swartwood and Wyanee Children

Note: Emanuel, Wyanee, and all three children are buried in Swartwood "Lost Cemetary."

Elizabeth Swartwood, born 1812, Tioga County, New York, died February 11, 1877. Married Robert Nelson about 1834. Robert born in Vermont in 1811 and died in Van Etten July 16, 1879.

Elizabeth Swartwood and Robert Nelson Children

Note: Robert, Elizabeth, and their daughter, Ann, are all buried in Swartwood "Lost Cemetary."