Last updated on January 25, 2016
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"On June 15, 1929, with Dr. John G. Cullinan, Reverend Thomas J. Hill and Father Healy by his side, William Swanton signed his name for the very last time. I wasn't there, of course, but I can imagine him raising his pen with an age-spotted, quivering hand to the document presented to him on his deathbed. This document would affect the lives of many people for many years to come. William's story, however, begins 74 years earlier in rural County Cork, Ireland."
This book chronicles the lives of William Swanton, my great grand uncle, who was the son of Michael and Elizabeth (Bradfield) Swanton, and his wife, Anne (O'Neil) Swanton. They were born in neighboring townlands in rural County Cork and immigrated to Boston where they lived until the 1920s. William Swanton was a larger-than-life figure who cut a wide swath as he charged through life. Accounts of rural country life, chain immigration, women's rights, upward mobility in a new country, venereal disease, marital separation and insanity all provide a fascinating glimpse into the past. The appendix of this book contains copies of original genealogical records, newspaper articles, photographs and numerous Family Group Sheets.
I wrote this book as my final project for a 9-month certification course for Genealogy and Family History that I completed in June at the University of Washington. This is a large PDF file, so it may take a while to download.
This letter to the editor mentions the Kinneigh Round Tower in Cork and some of the legends of the area. It was published in the West Cork Eagle on July 18, 1868.Kinneigh Steeple
During a trip to New York City, I found two Swanton wills in the Manhattan Surrogate Courthouse which were written in 1798 and 1835. The testators, Ellinor and Robert Swanton, also resided in Cork, Ireland.
These wills contain a wealth of information regarding Swanton relationships (fathers, sisters, brothers, nephews, nieces, cousins, etc.) and their property ownership, both in the United States and in Cork, Ireland. Ellinor Swanton may have been Robert Swanton's aunt. I've linked Robert's will to some interesting biographical information about Robert, including his involvement with the United Irishmen in 1798 and his escape to America. There is also extensive information about Robert's nephew, Thomas Swanton, a noted Gaelic scholar and outspoken patriot.
Ellinor Swanton's Will, July 1798, Cork City
No known relationship
Robert Swanton, Counsellor at Law, Cork and NY
No known relationship