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Swayne Family Photographs

Identifier: SFHL-PA-065

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a variety of types of photographs that range from tintypes, black and white prints, sketches, cabinet cards, and cartes de visite. Most of the photographs depict individuals and family groups. Most of the photographs are from the late 19th century and early 20th century, with one color print dating as late as 1966.


  • Creation: 1867 - 1966


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Some of the items in this collection may be protected by copyright. The user is solely responsible for making a final determination of copyright status. If copyright protection applies, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns to reuse, publish, or reproduce relevant items beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to the law. See

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).


.9 cubic ft. (3 Boxes)

Language of Materials



The Swayne family were Quakers of southern Chester County, Pennsylvania. The Swayne family picture collection contains, albums, framed photographs, and loose photographs that date from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries and which contain a variety of different photograph types (tintypes, cabinet cards, color prints, etc.).


The photographs are arranged in boxes by size and photography type, with the big albums contained in singular boxes and the framed and loose photos/unbounded album in a separate box. They also seem to be arranged roughly chronologically, with nineteeth century albums in the first couple of boxes.

Related Materials

Photographs of this collection are related to the Norman Walton Swayne Family Papers, 1733-1987, RG5/144.

Jissel Becerra Reyes
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting or requesting repoductions from Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library

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