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.