1 Apr 2014

Four weeks to the Australian Gathering!

Tomorrow Di and I leave for our holiday in Indonesia and Australia. After a two week tour of the East Coast from Sydney to Cairns and a spell in the Rain Forest, we will be back in Sydney by 26th April.

Just a week later, on Saturday, 3rd May, it is now certain that we will have a very successful Swinfield Gathering. Thanks to Ray Swinfield, we will all meet together at:

Dalton House Auditorium
Calvary Retirement Community
678 Victoria Road
RYDE, NSW 2112

Anyone who is now called Swinfield, was one in past, or who is descended from someone who had the surname, will be very welcome to join us there from 1-4pm. There will even be tea, coffee and afternoon cakes!

At present, 35 people have told us that they will be coming from many parts of the country. Another 8 have suggested that they may be able to be there. No doubt others will come along on the day unannounced. The more the merrier to make it a great success!

Of the “definites”, they represent these parts of the family:

Family 3A             7
Family 3B             9
Family 3C           14
Family 4                3
Family 5                2

So whichever branch you are on, of the Swinfield tree in Australia, there will be cousins there for you to meet, probably for the first time. Don't miss out on being there. If you have other relatives who have not yet decided to come, encourage them to be there too. A Swinfield Gathering does not happen often! They will regret missing out. 

Bring with you any old Swinfield documents, photographs or certificates that you have in your cupboards or attics to share with us all. You will also be “encouraged” to be in the group photographs, which will document the day for posterity.

We look forward to meeting you all on what, we are sure, will be a great day.
Geoff, Di, Ray, John, Andy & Linda  

3 Mar 2014

The Australian Gathering will happen!

In only two months time in early May, Di and I will be nearing the end of our visit to Indonesia and Australia. On the last weekend before we fly home via Singapore, there will be another Swinfield Gathering. This time we will be in Sydney on Saturday, 3rd May 2014.  

Ray Swinfield of Family 3B has arranged for us to all meet together from 1-4 pm at the Auditorium of the Calvary Retirement Community, 678 Victoria Road, Ryde NSW2112 where he lives. All current Australian Swinfields, or those who have used our surname in the past, are very welcome to come along. There you will be able to find yourself on the family trees, which I have drawn up showing the Antipodean bearers of our name, and, most excitingly, meet up with new cousins and distant relatives who were previously unknown to you. This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity gather together to share in the history of “our family”. The vast majority of Swinfields there will be related as they are descendants of William Swinfield (1804-1876) who reached NSW at the end of 1848.You will all be cousins of some sort. I will show you how!

How many Australian Swinfields may be there? I have a rather vague idea how many people with our rare surname live near Sydney. My guess is somewhere in excess of a hundred. There are certainly 43 subscribers listed in the current White Pages of whom 33 live in NSW. All were written to back in mid 2012 by Andrew Swinfield. He will now be contacting you again, inviting you to be there. Please respond so that we will know how many to cater for. We hope that as many of you as possible will make the effort to come along to find out about the family's history. Bring along your family's documents and photographs to share with your new-found relatives. 

It is likely that we will have attendees from as far afield as Queensland, Adelaide and Tasmania.  Let's make their trip worthwhile by as many people as possible being there from the NSW area. I will be there from the other side of the World representing your English cousins!

Put this date in your diary and be there on May 3rd!

26 Jan 2014

DNA gives us more clues to a single ancestor!

Another DNA test result has now been received for a male Swinfield. John Arnold Swinfield of Family 2, who was one of thepeople who attended the Swinfield Gathering inSeptember 2013, commissioned a test from Family Tree DNA. We have now have the answer!


Family 393 390 19 391   385a          385b 426 388 439 389a 392 389b 458 459a 459b 455 454
Derrick Swinfield 5F 13 24 14 11 11 14 12 12 11 13 13 29 17 9 10 11 11
John Swinfield 2 13 24 14 11 11 14 12 12 11 13 13 29 17 9 10 11 11
Maxwell Swinfield 12 13 24 14 11 11 14 12 12 11 13 13 29 17 9 10 11 11
Paul Swinfield 3 13 24 14 10 11 14 12 12 11 13 13 29 17 9 10 11 11
Andrew Swinfield 3A 13 24 14 10 11 14 12 12 11 13 13 29 17 9 9 11 11

447 437 448 449 464a 464b 464c 464d 460 GATA-H4 YCAIIa YCAIIb 456 607 576 570 CDYa CDYb 442 438
24 14 19 30 15 16 17 17 11 11 19 23 15




12 12
24 14 19 30 15 16 17 17 11 11 19 23 15 14 18 17 35 36 12 12
24 14 19 30 15 16 17 17 11 11 19 23 15 14 19 17 35 36 12 12
24 14 19 30 15 16 17 17 11 11 19 23 15 14 19 17 35 36 12 12
24 14 19 30 15 16 16 17 11 11 19 23 15 14 19 17 35 37 12 12

John is an exact match to Derrick Swinfield of Family 5 at the 32 markers at which both have been tested (Derrick's test was done through DNA Worldwide). This must surely lead us to the conclusion that families 2 and 5 have a common origin. Of the other three men, who have also had a 37 marker test from FTDNA, Maxwell from Australia, a member of Family 12, differs at only one marker from John, giving him what is termed a "genetic distance" of only 1, having a different value at marker DYS 576. Paul Swinfield of Family 3, has a genetic distance of 2 from John, also having a different value at marker DYS 391. Surprisingly Andrew, Paul's cousin, has a “GD” of 5, having a different STR value at three other markers. However, they do share a common mutation at DYS 391 where, unlike the other three men, they have a value of 10.   

John, Derrick, Maxwell and Paul all seem to have a "typical" Swinfield Y-chromosome. It is now very likely that the four families which they represent (2, 3, 5 & 12) have a common origin. They must surely share a common ancestor, within the last seven centuries, since the surname of Swinfield came into existence! I wonder how the other main branch, Family 1, would match up?

All we have to do now is to find the “paper trail”, through genealogical research, to join them all together. Easier said than done!

John and his sister, Clare Woodward, can trace their ancestry back to Burbage via the parish of Quorn(don). Their great-grandparents are buried in the churchyard there. In the adjacent grave is their infant son, William Henry, who died at only 6 months. This parish has a fantastic website which provides access to most of its records.

How is their great-great-great-grandfather, the blacksmith of Burbage, who was born about 1773/4, related to the earliest known ancestor of each of the other main branches? The DNA results tell us that they were all “cousins”! 

5 Jan 2014

Another Swinfield Gathering in Australia

Another reunion of members of one of the Swinfield families took place in late 2013. This time the meeting was in Australia.
Wolvey, Warwickshire
Wolvey church
Since 2003, Raymond Francis Swinfield recently of Rozelle, NSW, and myself have corresponded about the origins of his branch of the Swinfield family. He is part of what I have called Family 3B, stemming from William Swinfield (1804-1876), the tailor of Wolvey and Nuneaton in Warwickshire, and his second wife, Sarah Williamson. They emigrated to Australia in 1848, taking with them their five younger children aged from 7 to 18. The majority of Australian Swinfields are descended from this couple through their sons John (1838-1903) and Daniel (1842-1877). I wrote about Ray's family in Part 23 of this Blog in November 2012 and in Part 8 of September 2011. He and his three brothers are the great-great-grandsons of William and Sarah through Daniel.

The three boys in 1938: 
John, James & Ray
The three "boys" in 2013: John, James & Ray


On 14th September 2013, following his move into a retirement home due to ill health, Ray received an unexpected visit from many members of his extended family. These included his older brother, John Anthony (born 1933), and his younger brother, James Ronald (who was born in 1935). They had not met for more than 20 years! Other members of the family who were present were John's wife Annette, their son David and his wife, also Annette,and their two grandchildren. Jim was accompanied by his daughter, Deborah, her husband and their two children.
Back row: Samantha Mary, Annette Mary, Annette Marie, John Anthony, David Gerard, James Ronald, Edward James Adcock, Deborah Jane (Adcock), Madison Alexandra Adcock  
Front row: Lachlan David, Raymond Francis, an unknown woman    
Photograph taken by Michael James Adcock 
A very happy meeting of 12 members of the Swinfield clan together in one place for first time. It just does to show that it is never too late to meet up with our relatives!

3 Nov 2013

Family 2 was there too

John, Geoff & Clare study the family trees  
Brother and sister, John Swinfield and Clare Woodward, were representatives of Family 2 who came to the Swinfield Gathering. This is one of the smaller branches of the tree and extends back to John Swinfield who died in February 1851. He had been the blacksmith at Burbage, Leicestershire, for many years and was
Will of John Swinfield proved 1856
clearly much respected in his community as reflected by the notice of his death, published in the Leicester Mercury. He left a will which was not proved until 1856.
It is through his youngest son, William (1825-1900), who married Susannah Collier (1827-1891) at Ratby in 1852 that John and Clare can trace their descent from their great-great-great-grandfather. They are the only Swinfield descendants from that union and were able to provide me with photographs of their great-grandparents, John William Swinfield and Catherine Shield, and their son, John Henry Shield Swinfield (1890-1965).
John William & Catherine
(Shield) at their wedding
in 1915 

John Henry, Marjorie Claire & Mary Jane
Swinfield at The Corner,
Donington le Heath
John,the blacksmith, had a very large family of at least 12 children.However, from those there are only three lines of descent to people currently called Swinfield. One branch would not carry the Swinfield Y-chromosome as it can be traced back to his daughter, Martha, born in 1817, who had an illegitimate son Alfred (1836-1899). That branch culminates in about 11 people who bear the surname today and who all descend from his son Tom (1859-1910).
The only other living Swinfield line from the 12 children is through their oldest son, Joseph (1800-1849), who like his nephew Alfred, continued the family trade of blacksmith in the Burbage area, which they probably learned from their father and grandfather respectively. There are 8 living
Burbage parish church 
Swinfields who stem from his great-grandson Frederick (1887-1954) who worked all his life on the railways in Leicester.
Burbage village from the churcyard
The origins of this branch can only be extended if we can find the baptism of John Swinfield who was born about 1773/4. We do not know where he came from as his died just a month before the 1851 census was taken in which he would have stated where he believed he had been born. All we know is that he married Catherine Lawson at Thurlaston in 1800. His origins are probably in that area of Leicestershire.
John Swinfield has indicated that he would be willing to provide a DNA sample so that we can compare his Y-chromosome against those already tested for living males from families 3, 5 & 12. If they match, it is likely that Family 2 also shares that common origin and allfour lineages descend from one ancestor! I will keep you posted.  

15 Oct 2013

Family 5 was there in force!

Three weeks have now passed since we were all together at Appleby. It is very sad that the Gathering has 
Swinfield Families
3, 5, 2 & 12 all together at last!
come and gone. Will we meet again I wonder? What did we discover about the families of those who were there? It was so good that we had at least one representative from each of the major families.
Sandra Bates and her family and trees 
Family 5 was the most represented with 13 attendees. There were another 11 member of the extended Bates family there too, being close relatives of Sandra, who did so much to organise the event. These all stem from the marriage in 1803 at Kirby Mallory of Thomas Swinfield (1770-1833) and Sarah Toon (1776-1821) and are “on paper” descendants from their two sons, Thomas (1808-1893) and William (1813-1885). This part of our history was described in Part 1 of this Blog which I wrote way back in September 2011.
Family 5D: Aaron, Kierran, Kristofer, Darren,
Alan, Dawn & Michael - newly found cousins
I am documented as the great-great-grandson of Thomas (1841-1905) whilst Sandra and her family are descended from his wife, Sarah Swinfield nee Hewitt, through her illegitimate son, Joseph (1843-1905).
Families 5F & 5D: Mark, Derrick, Tina Carter,
Kierran, Aaron, Darren & Geoff meet for the first time 








William Swinfield was the forebear of the other members of Family 5 who were at the Gathering. He had two grandsons, George Ernest Tertius Swinfield senior (born 1876) and Joseph Herbert Swinfield (born 1880), of Family 5D. Michael and his son and daughter, Alan and Dawn, are from George Ernest Tertius junior. Darren and his three sons 
Paul Swinfield (Family 3) with Mark Swinfield
& Pat Kirby (Family 5F) study the displays
who were there, Aaron, Kristofer and Kierran, are descended from Joseph Herbert. As such, Alan, Dawn and Darren are 2nd cousins. Joseph Herbert has grandchildren now named Derrick George Joseph Swinfield and Pat Kirby (Family 5F). They too were present with their respective sons, Mark Swinfield and Matt Kirby, who are 3rd cousins to the younger descendants of Family 5D. They are all the 4th cousins, once removed, of yours truly!
It is a pity that, despite expressing their intention to attend, no-one was there from the other very large parts of this lineage, being Families 5B and 5E. It would have been great if they had been there too. They would have met so many new cousins too.
These relationships and trees can all be seen on the Family Tree DNAwebsite.


4 Oct 2013

We were there at Appleby!

It is amazing that, after all the planning and fretting that no-one would be there, the Swinfield Gathering happened! On Sunday, 22nd September 2013, 37 people actually came to the Sir John Moore Foundation in Appleby Magna, Leicestershire, to meet others who are interested in the surname and its history. I do not know if any were inspired to attend through the interview which I did with Radio Leicester on the Saturday morning.
It was so gratifying that all seemed to enjoy such a great afternoon. A beautiful room where our hosts gave us such a warm welcome and couldn't have been more accommodating. My thanks must go to Sandra and Allan who found such a good venue where we could display and study all the family trees, photographs and documents that have been gathered during so many years of research. New cousins were discovered and it was so exciting when attendees found that they were cousins of some degree, albeit in some cases fairly distant. I met people for the first time who have the same great-great-great-grandparents and are therefore my 5th cousins. How amazing it was to put a face and personality to what had previously only been a name on a pedigree!
The early arrivals 
Those present were:
Family 2: John Swinfield & Clare Woodward
Family 3: Paul and Julie Swinfield
Family 4A: Rachel, Tracey, Katie and Kirstie Swinfield
Family 5: Geoff, Derrick, Mark, Darren (& Tina Carter), Kierran, Kristofer, Aaron, Michael and Alan Swinfield; Dawn Moore-Elphick, Pat & Matt Kirby
Family 12: Stephen & Katherine Swinfield, Sue Regan (all the way from Australia who worked so hard on the day)
The Bates Family (part of Family 5A): Sandra Bates, Allan Francis, Arthur Eyre, Jean Millward, Elizabeth Lubek, Michael Lower, Peter Chapman, Ann Birch, John Bates, Brian and Susan Kendrick
David Bligh, a resident of Appleby Magna
Administrator: Di Bouglas (who did so much to make it run smoothly and ensure that people found themselves on the right tree!)

This is, I hope, just the beginning of those new friendships and relationships. It would be great if we can continue to build on what was achieved on that special afternoon. I will be blogging about the exciting
The afternoon gathering
connections and discoveries that were made. You will hear lots from me about each of the families who were there. I hope that you too will have more to contribute as you go back to your close family to ask questions and collect still more memories and photographs to share. I know that some have been inspired to take this further and will visit older relatives who were not able to be there. Please send me what you learn and I will happily add that to the future blogs.
Don't just rely on me to produce the copy, you can contribute to the study too. Let's not let that enthusiasm just fade away. We will put together a Swinfield e-mailing list and if you, or anyone else you know, would like to be added, just let us know at geoff@gsgs.co.uk. That way, you will be kept in touch with all the news and notified when a new blog is published. Don't forget the Swinfield Genealogy and DNA Facebook Group
Come and join us there too to see what we are talking about. Keep in touch! We are so pleased to have met you all.