Morris County New Jersey -- Cumberland County Penn.

It is the next two generations I am unsure of how we relate to them.  I will continue to work in this area. I believe we are descended from the earlier mentioned John (3), born in 1651 in Southold, Long Island. He had a son John (4) born about 1685. I believe that John (4) had a son Caleb (5) born about 1720.

In 1737 Caleb's Father's cousin, Samuel S. moved to Morris County New Jersey.  About 17 years old, I believe Caleb (5) moved to this area, also, with his family from Southold

While living near the Raritan River area in Morris County, Caleb (5) had a son John (6) born around 1745, a son George, a son Mathias, and a son Daniel born in 1756.

John (4) died in Roxberry in 1761, leaving his widow, Peggy. Then in 1762 Caleb (5) of Roxberry bought land in Cumberland County, Penn. from a John Buchannon. In 1767 Caleb Swesey entered a caveat in East Pennsboro, Cumberland County, against acceptance of a survey for John Trindle, saying it interferes with land granted him in a prior deal.  In 1769 Caleb (5) bought more land in Cumberland County and was listed as still living in Morris County, New Jersey.

John (6) had a son John Jr. in about 1766.  He had another son, Peter (7) in about 1772 and I believe another son, Thomas around 1775.

Tension with England was mounting and in 1773, the Boston Tea Party took place.  Then on April 19, 1775 the Battle of Lexington in Massachusetts started the Revolution. It was about this time that I believe the four brothers moved to Cumberland County from New Jersey.  There is a record of a John Swesey selling land in Morris County in 1774.  If he did move then, John Jr. would have been about eight years old and Peter about two.

On June 15, 1775 George Washington was selected supreme commander of the Continental Army, which he didn't resign until December 14. 1783 over eight years later.

By 1775, John's (6) brother George was listed as having sold land in Pennsboro, Cumberland County.  All or the brothers may have been living there by then, but its not until 1777 that I find them all enlisted in the Cumberland County, Penn. Militia. It doesn't appear that Caleb (5) ever lived in Cumberland County.

The Samuel Swesey mentioned earlier who had moved from Long Island to Morris County New Jersey was a minister there for over 20 years, and during the winter of 1779-1780 when  Washington and his men spent the winter there in Morristown area, Samuels church served as a hospital for the sick and wounded.

Of the four brothers who had enlisted in the Penn. Militia, I can only find more detailed information on Daniel Swesey, brother of our John (6).  In 1833 when applying for a pension he gave the following account.

On this 14 day of  December of the year of our lord 1833, Daniel Swesey appeared in open court before the judges of the court in and for said county at New Belan, now sitting Daniel Swesey.  A resident of White Deere Township in County of Union, age 77 years who being first duly sworn according to law.  Duth on his solemn oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefits.

That he entered the service of the United States under the following officers and served as here in stated.

That he resided in Greenwood Township, Cumberland County Penn. when he first entered the service of the United States.

That he was drafted in the fall or the year 1777 for two months.

That he marched in Capt. John Hamiltons Company by way or Carlisle, York, and Lancaster to Valley Forge.

At Valley Forge his company was placed under the Command of General Lacy. He stayed in Valley Forge but one night and from there they marched a few miles below Valley Forge in order to guard the paper from and to Philadelphia where the British Army there lay. That they were stationed at dirrerent places for the purpose of previous said until the period for which he was drafted had expired. He thinks it was pretty late in the fall when he marched and returned sometime in the winter 1777-1778.  Does not remember of getting a written discharge. That he saw General Washington at Valley Forge and several other officers whose names he has forgotten.

That he was again drafted for two months and marched from the same place up the river Susquehanna to Frilirs (sp) Fort.  Does not recollect the name of his captain. That after he reached the fort he was placed under the command of Col. Potter.  That he was not long at this fort until his company was taken into the neighborhood of Col. Potters residence, when they were divided into scouting parties and sent into different directions. That he was sent to where a man of the name of Hapkinchen lived in Union County, where he continued to when he was discharged.  Does not remember whether he got a written discharge this time. That he thinks it was the fall of the year when he marched back into town, which must have been in 1778. That he remembers it was cold weather when he returned home.

That sometime after his return from the last mentioned town he enlisted for five months in Captain Henry Dauphyty's company in General Subouns Campaign.  That he received a trust of 40 dollars.

The service in which he was engaged during this period was boating provisions up the river Susquehanna from Middletown to Tioga point and some intermediate points.  That he continued in this service till his time of five months expired when he was discharged.  Does not remember if a written discharge being given him.  In this service he was subject to all the penalties and restrictions of
any other enlisted soldier.  The whole crew engaged in this service were under the command of Capt. Daughtery.

That be marched a fourth time as a substitute for his brother John (6) who was drafted.  That he marched in Capt. Hugh McAllisters Company to Potter Fort in Pacus Valley Penn.  That he does not recollect who was or whether they we re under the command of any officer superior to this captain.  That they continued at Potter Fort going out occasionally in separate parties against the Indians until his time of service had again expired, when he was discharged. This was in the fall of 1781.

That the total period of his service was 11 months and upwards for which he claims a pension.

That from the change of residences and lapse of time he knows of no person living who could testify as to his service nor has he any documentary evidence there of.

1. I was born near the Raritan River in the state or New Jersey in 1756, June 13th.

2.  I have no record of my age but remember it from what my parents told me.

3. I lived in Greenwood Township, Cumberland County, when I was called into the service and continued until about 40 years ago when I moved to White Deere Township. Cumberland County (now Union).

4. Andrew McLanahan, John High, William Hayes, Mathew Laird and many others in my neighborhood can testify as to my character for my vivacity as a revolutionary soldier.

That he hereby relingueshs every claim whatever to a pension or amnisty, except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.

Daniel Swesey

In 1783 John Sr. (6) and John Jr. were listed as able bodied citizens within the boundary of the 2d Battalion, between the ages of 18-45, in the Greenwood area of Cumberland County.

In 1785 in the Cumberland tax records, John (6) had 100 acres, two horses and one cow and listed freemen John and Peter (7). George Swesey had 100 acres, two horses and two cows.

In 1787 John bought more land in Cumberland from Mathias S. which was next to his brother George's land. This area was known as the Wild Cat Valley area. This same year he sold land in Carlisle and in 1792, 1794 and 1797 he bought more land.

In 1793 John's (6) brother Daniel moved to White Deere Township in Union County Penn.

Cumberland County had been formed from Lancaster County in 1750. The city of Carlisle was laid out in 1751 and was the county seat and largest town in the area.  George Washington came to Carlisle in 1794.  He had been elected President in 1789 and was re-elected in 1793.  In 1794, in what became known as the whiskey rebellion, farmers in four counties in Penn. had refused to pay taxes on manufacturing whiskey.  They armed themselves and attacked federal officials.  Army troops were sent to western Penn, and were joined by President Washington.  On his trip west Washington passed through Carlisle.  All the county turned out to watch the President review the troops as they marched down the main street of Carlisle.  An account of this written later titled " A Boy of Fourteen Looked On" is as follows:

The rendezvous of the northern division of the army, by far the strongest, was at Carlisle, where the president joined it as commander-in-chief. Passing through the town without dismounting at the quarters proposed for him, he proceeded at once under an escort of New Jersey dragoons, to the plain at the south of it, where ten thousand volunteers the flower of the Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania youth, were drawn up to be reviewed by him.  Finer looking fellows were perhaps never brought into line, and their uniforms, arms and accouterments were splendid. But the observed or all observers was General Washington.  Taking off his small revolutionary cocked hat and letting it fall at his side with inimitable grace, he rode slowly along the front, receiving with a puff of military pride, the salute of the regiments with drums and colors. of the officers with swords and spontoons and of private soldiers with presented arms.  His eye appeared to fall on every man in the line, and every man in the line appeared to feel that it did so.  No man ever sat so nobly in a saddle, and no man's presence was ever so dignified. (Washington died about five years later.)

Around 1795 Peter (7) was married to Nancy. in Cumberland County. The year before Peter's Grandfather Caleb (5) died in Roxberry, Morris County, New Jersey.

In 1798 John (6) had gone together with his son Peter (7) and Purchased some land.  In the Cumberland County tax records for that year John Sr. (6) owned 500 acres and had material wealth valued at 750 dollars.  John Jr. had 150 acres and 310 dollars. Peter had 100 acres.

In the 1799 tax records John Sr. is listed as the owner of a saw mill and 300 acres and five cows and one horse.  Peter had 100 acres and two cows.  This was the year George Washington died.  The country was in mourning for several months.  John Adams was President at the time.

In the 1800 census for Cumberland County John Sr. is listed with he and his wife older than 45, one son and two daughters under 10 and one daughter 16-26.

In 1800 John and Peter bought 30 acres together on August 2, and on September 12 another  13 acres.

In the 1800 census Peter was listed at age 26-45, his wife 16-26, and they had  two girls and one boy under 10.

Also in the 1800 Census Peter's brother Thomas was living in Donation Land in Beaver County Penn.  He is the first Swesey I found to be in Beaver County.  Donation land was given to Veterans of the Revolutionary war, so his father John (6) was probably eligible to receive it and then gave it to his son. The Donation Land law  was enacted in 1783.  Public land along the Ohio-Penn. border was given to soldiers who served in the continental army during the revolution. It was considered an excellent plan to these experienced soldiers act as a buffer between the developed areas and the Indian areas, during expansion to the west.

In 1802 Peter and John had land surveyed and in 1803 Peter and his wife Nancy had our Great Great Grandfather Caleb (8) in Cumberland County Penn.

In 1807 at the Carlisle orphans court Sam is listed as the orphan son of John Swesey, between the ages of 14-21. I believe that Samuel would have been Peters younger brother. Later in 1837. When this Samuel was living in Jefferson Co. Indiana. Peter sent money there to help Samuel pay for land there.  Samuel fought in War of 1812 and served aboard the Porcupine on Lake Erie, and received a late medal for it in 1826.

John (6) having died around 1807 would have been about 62 years of age.

In 1810 Peter bought 300 acres from Joseph Pope in Rye Township County.  He paid 450 dollars. In the 1810 census he was living in Rye.  In 1810 John Jr. was still in Greenwood.

In the 1814 tax records John Jr. owned the saw mill and had 700 acres. He bought more land in 1816 and 1818.

In 1810 the average farmer in the area had two horses, three or four cattle and four or five sheep. The most popular entertainment of the time was horse racing which took place in the different villages around the area.

Caleb (8) was married around 1825 to a Miss Black. He had at least ten children and appears he was married twice, his children with Miss Black:  Elizia 1826, Clarissa 1831, John 1833, Samuel 1834, William 1837. Then I would guess that his first wife died.  Then he married Christina Miller.  They had:  Shannon 1843, Christina 1846, George Washington (9) 1848, William 1850 (Second William-they must have run out of names) and Katherine in 1851. Later in Wisconsin Caleb would be living next to his sons George (9) and Samuel who would be half brothers.

Christina was born around 1819 in Penn. so would have been about 16 years younger than Caleb.

By 1830 Peter then about 58 was living alone.  His wife Nancy had probably died at around 50 years of age.

In the 1840 census Caleb was still married to his first wife, and his Father Peter was living With them.

On August 14, 1846 Peter wrote a will leaving everything to his son Caleb and daughter Mary. She was married to Andrew Boyd and had children David, Caroline and Jane.  Apparently if Peter had other children they were no longer living or had moved from the area.  Peter died a little more than a year later, around Christmas time 1847.

On August 28, 1848 George Washington Swesey (9) was born to Caleb and Chrtistina.  This was about eight months after his grandfather Peter had died.

I believe that around 1852 Caleb and his family moved to Polk County Wisconsin.

Scanned and converted to electronic medium October 1997 by Thomas F. Swezey

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