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.
Caleb Swayne (1749-1825), 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.
The oldest of his five children, Evan Thomas Swayne (1824-1929), was born in 1824 at London Grove. He married Sarah Wayne Pusey, daughter of Jacob and Hannah (Mendenhall) Pusey of Wilmington, Delaware, on November 7, 1851. 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.
Edward 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.
Norman 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).