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Archives & Manuscripts

Norman Walton Swayne Family Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SFHL-RG5-144

Scope and Contents

The collection includes genealogical papers, correspondence, poetry and other writings, commonplace books, deeds and financial records, and miscellaneous materials. Of particular interest is the journal of Benjamin Swayne of London Grove, the school master's records of Evan Thomas Swayne, the poetical exchange between Edward Swayne and William B. Preston, and the correspondence of Norman Walton Swayne while he was a student at Swarthmore College from 1904-08.

Dates

  • 1733-1987

Creator

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Rights Information

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.

Biographical / Historical

The Swayne family were Quakers of southern Chester County, Pennsylvania. Caleb Swayne was a farmer and tanner, and his son, Benjamin, also operated a tanyard and conducted a school for boys, the London Grove Boarding School. Evan Thomas Swayne also taught at London Grove, but moved to the Eaton Institute, a boarding school for girls in Kennett, after 1865. His son, Edward Swayne, had a greenhouse business and wrote poetry. Edward's sister, Anna Belle, was a photographer before her marriage to Albert Taylor Jackson. Edward's son, Norman Walton Swayne, attended Swarthmore College and then taught at the George School; he was also the family genealogist.

  • 1774, 1817, 1823Caleb Swayne (1749-1825), the first of the family represented in these papers, was the son of William Swayne and Ann Pusey. He married Mary Wood in 1774 and worked as a farmer and tanner in East Marlborough Township. Caleb's son, Benjamin (1791-1873), was the seventh of nine children, and married first, Jane Thomas, in 1817 at Marlborough Meeting House, and second, 1823, Sarah Phillips, at Hockessin. Benjamin operated a tanyard at London Grove, and later conducted a boy's boarding school at the same place. He was forced to move to Octoraro, to make good an endorsement on a note, but later returned to Kennett Square where they died.
  • 1824, 1851, 1865The oldest of his five children, Evan Thomas Swayne (1824-1929), was born in 1824 at London Grove. He married on 11mo 7 1851 Sarah Wayne Pusey, daughter of Jacob and Hannah (Mendenhall) Pusey of Wilmington, Delaware. They had four children, viz. Edward; Laura Pusey (1857-1928), who never married; Anna Belle (1864-1931), a photographer who married Albert Taylor Jackson; and Charles Sumner (1870-), a landscape gardener who married first Florence H. Lamborn and second Daisy Elizabeth Bird. Evan Thomas Swayne was a school teacher in Octoraro, Birmingham, and London Grove. The family moved to Kennett in 1865, where he took charge of a girl's boarding school, the Eaton Institute. After the school had been discontinued, the family continued to live in Kennett, and he was Clerk of Western Quarterly Meeting, Assistant Clerk of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, and President of the Board of Managers of Martin Academy.
  • 1853, 1884, 1923Edward Swayne (1853-1929), the oldest son of Evan and Sarah, was born in 1853. He married first, in 1884, Mary Dent Walton, daughter of William Walton and Elizabeth (Palmer), and second, in 1923, Pauline Christine Wilber. Edward Swayne conducted a greenhouse business and was particularly interested in the culture of peonies. For a time he was Deputy Prothonotary at West Chester. He was also an authority on ornithology and an amateur poet. His first wife, Mary Dent Walton, graduated from West Chester Normal School and attended Swarthmore College for a time, later teaching school at Parkerville. They had three children, Norman Walton, Donald McFarlan (1897-1985) and Edith Neal (1887-1919), a Swarthmore College Alumna and children's librarian who died of pneumonia in 1919.
  • 1904-1908, 1917Norman W. Swayne was born in Kennett Square in 1885 and attended West Chester High School. He entered Swarthmore College in 1904, and graduated with a degree in Engineering in 1908. He taught at the George School and was a member of Newtown Meeting. In 1917, he married Mabel Amelia Werner, daughter of Jeremiah Martin Werner and Mary Elizabeth (Whiteside) of Wilmington, Delaware. They had five children, Carolyn Hope (1918-1980), Kingdon Werner (1920-), Kenneth Gilbert (1922-1967), Malcolm Wallace (1926-1944), and Phillip Evan (1928-1975).

Extent

3 Linear Feet (7 boxes (plus oversize material))

Language

English

Overview

The Swayne family were Quakers of southern Chester County, Pennsylvania. Caleb Swayne was a farmer and tanner, and his son, Benjamin, also operated a tan yard and conducted a school for boys, the London Grove Boarding School. Evan Thomas Swayne also taught at London Grove, but moved to the Eaton Institute, a boarding school for girls in Kennett, after 1865. His son, Edward Swayne, had a greenhouse business and wrote poetry. Edward's sister, Anna Belle, was a photographer before her marriage to Albert Taylor Jackson. Edward's son, Norman Walton Swayne, attended Swarthmore College and then taught at the George School; he was also the family genealogist. The collection includes genealogical research, correspondence, poetry and other writings, commonplace books, deeds and financial records, and miscellaneous materials. Of particular interest is the journal of Benjamin Swayne of London Grove, the school master's records of Evan Thomas Swayne, the poetical exchange between Edward Swayne and William B. Preston, and the correspondence of Norman Walton Swayne while he was a student at Swarthmore College from 1904-1908.

Arrangement

The collection is divided into six series:
  1. Biography and genealogy
  2. Correspondence
  3. Journals and other writings
  4. Commonplace books, albums and scrapbooks
  5. Business, property and financial records
  6. Miscellaneous

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession information

Donor: Deborah Fraser Swayne, 1990; Accession number: 90.21

The collection was given by descendents of the family.

Separated Materials

Photographic albums and loose photographs which were received with the Swayne Family Papers have been separately catalogued in the Picture Collection, PA 65.

Processing Information

Fumigated, sorted and placed in RG 5. Oversize materials are stored in ++RG 5/144.

Creator

Title
Norman Walton Swayne Family Papers, 1733-1987
Author
FHL staff
Date
ca. 1990
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Find It at the Library

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Swarthmore Pennsylvania 19081 USA