Genealogical and Family History
of the

Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.

New York

[Please see Index page for full citation.]

[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]

[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]


William Swift (or Swyft), the patriarch ancestor of the Swifts of Sandwich, Cape Cod, Mass., came from Bocking, Suffolk county, England, with the great flood of immigrants who left England, 1630-34, to make new homes in the New World. He landed in Boston, probably in 1630, and settled in Watertown, Mass. Bay Colony. He sold his property in Watertown in 1637 and removed to Plymouth Colony, locating at Sandich in 1638. He died there in Jan., 1643, and the inventory of his estate amounted to forty-seven pounds, eleven shillings, one pence. His widow Joan made a will Oct. 12, 1662, and in it she named her son William and his children: two sonf of Daniel Wing and grandsons of John and Deborah (Bochler) Wing and great-grandsons of the Rev Stephen Wing (Daniel Wing had married Hannah, daughter of the testatrix, Nov. 5, 1642, and she had died Jan. 31, 1664). The testatrix also married Experience and Zebediah, children of Mr. Allen and Mary Dorley.
That the Swifts were not strict Puritans is shown by the record of the ten shillings laid on her Oct. 2, 1669 "for being at Quaker meeting."

(II) William, eldest son of William and Joan Swift, was a passenger with his parents in their voyage across the Atlantic. He was probably born in England in 1627. He was active in the affairs of the town of Sandwich, and in 1654-55 subscribed fifteen shillings toward building a new meeting house, on of the largest subscriptions on the list. On the 23d of 2d month, 1675, his name is recorded among the freemen of Sandwich. He made a will Dec. 15, 1705, which was probated Jan. 29, 1706, and in it he names his wife Ruth, his sons William, Ephraim, Samuel, Josiah, Jirah, and her daughters Mary, Temperance, Esther and Dianah. Of these children we know as follows:
1. William, born Aug. 28, 1654, made his will June 17, 1700, and the instrument was probated may 12, 1701. He names his wife Elizabeth and the following children: William, b. Jan. 24, 1679; Joseph, Benjamin, Thomas, Josiah and Ebenezer. William (2) died five years before the death of his father.
2. Ephraim, born June 6, 1656, made his will April 10, 1735, and the instrument was probated Feb. 17, 1742, in which he names his wife Sarah and children: Elizabeth, b. Dec. 29, 1680; Joanna, b. July 7, 1684; Samuel, b. April 9, 1686; Ephraim, b. Dec. 16, 1688; Sarah, b. April 12, 1692; Hannah, b. May 19, 1695; Moses, b. Sept. 15, 1699.
3. Mary, born April 17, 1659.
4. Samuel, born Aug. 10, 1662, had wife Mary named in his will of Oct. 5, 1730, and probated June 6, 1735.
5. Josiah, married (first) April 16, 1706, Mary Bodfish, probably daughter of Joseph Bodfish and (second) Experience Nye, daughter of John Nye.
6. Jirah (q.v.)

(III) Jirah, fifth son and sixth child of William and Sarah Swift, was born in Sandwich, Plymouth Colony, in 1665. He was married Nov. 26, 1697, to Abigail Gibbs. He was admitted as a townsman of the town of Sandwich in 1700 and as freeman in 1702. He made his will March 29, 1744, and in it he names his wife Mary and she was his second wife. His will was probated May 1, 1749, which fixes the date of his death as April of that year. He joined a large number of members of the church in Sandwich in a petition to the general court to dismiss the Rev. Mr. Fessenden as not a suitable minister of the church or allow the dissenters to form a new church, but the petition was dismissed by the court.
Roland, who married Mary Dexter, and their son Zephaniah, b. in Wareham, Mass. Feb. 27, 1759, was graduated at Yale, A.B. 1777; A.M., 1781; was a representative from Connecticut in the third and fourth congresses, 1793-97; was judge of the supreme court of Conn., 1801-06, and chief justice, 1806-19. He married Lucretia Webb and had seven children. Yale and Middleburg conferred on him the honorary degree of LL.D. in 1817 and 1821 respectively. He died in Warren, Ohio, Sept. 27, 1823.
Lewis Swift, the astronomer, was a son of General Lewis Swift and grandson of Roland and Mary (Dexter) Swift.
Another son was Job. (q.v.)

(IV) Job, son of Jirah and Abigial (Gibbs) Swift, was born in Sandwich, Mass., Oct. 3, 1711, and died at Stoughtonham (Sharon), Mass. Feb. 14, 1801.
He married Sarah Blackwell, who was born at Sandwich, Mass. Feb. 6, 1713, and died April 2, 1772, at Sharon, then known as Stoughtonham. The marriage took place Jan. 20, 1733.
1. Job (2), who married (first) Sept. 14, 1768, Rebecca Coming, and (second) April 5, 1779, Elizabeth Guild.
2. Joshua (q.v.)
3. Philps, who was buried at Sandwich, Oct. 17, 1754.
4. Charity, who was buried at Sandwich, Nov. 18, 1754.
5. Patience, who died Feb. 12, 1765.
6. Jirah, who married Waitstill Lyon on July 31, 1769, and had children: Jirah, b. June 30, 1770; Zepha, b. June 3, 1772; Wyeth, b. April 27, 1774; Azil, b. Feb. 23, 1776.

(V) Joshua, second son of Job and Sarah (Blackwell) Swift, was born in Stoughtonham (Sharon) Mass., Aug. 24, 1744. He was a private in the American army in the revolutionary war, enlisting at Boston, Jan. or Feb. 1781, and serving two years in Capt. James Wilkinson's company, Colonel Graton's regiment. He took part in several skirmishes with the enemy and was an applicant for a pension, May 4, 1818, at which time he was a resident of Lisle, Browne county, New York, and his age seventy-four years.
He was married June 14, 1769, to Mary Hewins, who was born in Stoughtonham, Mass. in 1751, and after the war they removed to Lisle, Browne county, New York, where the soldier died after May 4, 1818, at which time he was seventy-four years of age.
Their son Joshua (q.v.) was born the same year in which his father joined the patriot army.

(VI) Joshua (2), son of Joshua (1), the soldier, and Mary (Hewins) Swift, was born at Sharon, Mass., in 1781. He removed to Fairlee, Vermont, where he married Martha Marston, a native of that place, and he became a prominent citizen.
He was a deacon in the Congregational church for many years, and his daughter, Rebecca, was born in Fairlee, Nov. 29, 1804, and married Sept. 4, 1830, Grant Smith.
Deacon Joshua Swift died in Fairlee, Vermont, Aug., 1852. He was the grandfather of Sheridan Irving Smith. [trans. note: I suppose the people a hundred years ago recognized that name.]

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