19 May 2014

DNA was taken at the Gathering

38 Australian members of Family 3 attended the Gathering in Sydney. They represented the three distinct parts of this large genealogy which descend from three sons of William Swinfield (1804-1876) and his first two wives, Sarah Ballard (1800-1845) and Sarah Williamson (1816-1861):

Family 3A descends from John (William) Swinfield (1838-1903)
Family 3B has as its ancestor Daniel Swinfield (1842-1877)
Family 3C comes from George William Swinfield (1854-1936)

Geoff explaining DNA testing to the Gathering 
Two present-day members of this lineage have already been DNA tested. One is Andrew John Swinfield of Family 3A, the son of John William. Both were at the Gathering. The other testee is Paul Frederick Swinfield, who lives in England. He does not have William as his ancestor. Rather he descends from William's much younger brother, George Swinfield (born 1825). Andrew is Paul's 4th cousin, once removed and they match at 34 of the 37 markers on the Y-chromsome for which they have both been tested. This suggests that they have a common ancestor as has been proved by genealogical research. Unfortunately, we cannot test their close cousins from Family 4 as the other brother, John Swinfield (1806-1874), has no known male descendants.

To expand our knowledge of the DNA of this branch of the Swinfield tree, we took the opportunity to take samples from three other men who were at the Gathering. 

They are:
Leslie, Ray and Ian prepare to test  
Family 3A - Leslie Ernest       3rd cousin to John William
Family 3B - Raymond Francis 3rd cousin to John William
Family 3C - Ian George          Half 3rd cousin to John William

John William looks on as the
three men give their samples 

Di & Geoff prepare the DNA samples to send off to the lab 

It will be very enlightening to see how closely these three samples match with those results which we already have on the Swinfield DNAand Genealogy Group results page of the Family Tree DNA website. As soon as the new results are available, I will analyse what they tell us about the relationships between Family 3 and the other major branchesWatch this space!  

18 May 2014

Family 4 was there too!

It was a great pleasure that three members of Family 4 came to the Swinfield Gathering. They are descended from John Swinfield (1806-1874) another son of Thomas Swinfield, the labourer, of Wolvey in Warwickshire and his wife, Elizabeth Hackett. John married Mary Ann Bates at Mancetter in the same county in 1833. They had 6 children in that parish from 1834 to 1850. In late 1852, presumably at the suggestion of his brother, William, who had already settled in Sydney, he and his wife embarked on the arduous three month journey onboard the ill-fated “Beejapore”. Of the nearly thousand passengers who set out, 55 or 56 died on the voyage, all but one of them being children. On arrival, the ship was put into quarantine at the station on North Head, close to what is now Manly. There a further 62 perished from typhus and measles during the time that they were accommodated in just 90 tents in the height of summer. These included John's wife and his youngest son, William, who was only 3. The ship was released to complete its journey into Sydney Harbour on 9th February 1853.
Ruth & Geoff study the
pedigree of Family 4
Our three attendees at the Gathering all descend from John's daughter, Mary, who was born at Mancetter in 1838 and who was 15 when she disembarked. The four surviving children did not stay in NSW for long. They all married in Tasmania from 1857 to 1868. Mary married Henry Chesterman at St David's Church, Hobart, Tasmania on 13th October 1857 and they had 12 children and many modern descendants.
I had already met Ruth Cuff on her visit to London in April 2012. She then brought with her copies of two letters which were sent to his brother and sister by Edward Swinfield (1834-1881) who did not make the voyage to Australia. Rather he went to be a planter in St Kitts in the West Indies where he died. He has no descendants. Neither, as far as we know, do either of the other two surviving sons of John Swinfield by his two wives.
Col, Jordan & Ruth  


Col & Jordan Barling 
 The other two people to come to the Gathering were Col Barling and his daughter, Jordan. It was great for them to meet there and we exchanged photographs and documents. I have also recently been in contact with their cousin, Bob Chesterman, who has as his ancestor not only Mary Swinfield (1838-1918) but also her sister, Mary Ann (1846-1930), who married Moses John Clark!

Map of North Head and the
Quarantine Station

Geoff at Q Station 
Today Q Station is a hotel. However it provides a very informative visitors' centre which Di and I visited to see its very good exhibition. That documents its time as a place of quarantine for the emigrants into Sydney until as late as the 1980s! 
Quarantine Beach where the emigrants landed.
Just above the beach would have been the final resting place
of John's wife and young son who died in 1853.   

12 May 2014

Family 3C was there too!

The third part of Family 3 in Australia has as its ancestors William Swinfield (1804-1876), the tailor, and his second wife, Sarah Williamson (1816-1861). They had also married at Nuneaton in 1846 after his first wife died the year before. That marriage was to produce 7 more children for William after the family emigrated in 1848 on the Walmer Castle.  

Second cousins meet:
John Butcher, Ian George Swinfield,
Vanessa Swinfield & Karen Butcher
Only one of their two sons, George William (1854-1936) has living descendants who constitute Family 3C. 9 children were born to his wife, Elizabeth McCarthy, who he married at St Paul's in Redfern on 27th November 1874. There is a wonderful photograph of their family which I have been given by separate branches of their family and which I wrote about in Part 8 of the Blog back in September 2011.
Carolyn McKellar and her father,
Frank Stott

One of their grandchildren, Frank George Stott, and three great-grandchildren, Ian George Swinfield, Karen Butcher and Carolyn McKellar, were at the Gathering representing three of their children, George William Swinfield (1881-1956), Arthur Edwin Swinfield (1891-1975) and Jessica Vera Stott (1900-1972) respectively.

Belinda Saywell, Kylie Gravitis, Peter Swinfield, Ian Swinfield,
Fiona Burrows, Sue Swinfield, Nelleke & Vanessa (Ness) Swinfield  
Nelleke Swinfield, the widow of Colin Thomas Swinfield (1937-2012), another of the great-grandsons, came all the way from Nambour in Queensland to join her brother-in-law, Ian George, and his daughters, Kylie Gravitis and Fiona Burrows. It was very good that Vanessa and Peter, Nelleke's two children, and her niece, Belinda Saywell, were also able to be there. Ness brought along a huge collection of family photographs and documents for us all to share. I look forward to receiving copies of all that when she has the time to scan it! 

11 May 2014

Family 3B had 13 attendees at the Gathering

Brothers Ray and John and their family tree
Our hosts at the Swinfield Gathering were brothers, Raymond Francis and John Anthony of Family 3B. I wrote about their own family reunion in my post of 5th January 2014 on this Blog.

Family 3B

This part of the family can trace their ancestry back to the youngest son of William Swinfield (1804-1876) who claimed to be a tailor in England by his first wife, Sarah Ballard. That son was born in Hartshill in Warwickshire before the family left for Australia in 1848. They are the great-grandsons of that immigrant, Daniel Swinfield (1842-1877), and his wife, Eliza Hayes through their youngest son, another Daniel (1877-1905). John's wife, Annette Marie, and their two sons, John Joseph and David Gerard were also with us. David's wife, also Annette Swinfield, brought along their two children, Samantha and Lachlan to meet more distant relations.

John Allan Swinfield with Penny and Felicity 
They were the descendants of Daniel's older brother, John Swinfield (1873-1961), though his wife, Margaret Prior. John Allan Swinfield is their grandson and he brought with him his two daughters, Penny and Felicity. Unfortunately, John's cousin, Ronald John, could not be with us but his wife, Stephanie, was there with one of her daughters, Debbie Humphries. 

Debbie Humphries, Stephanie Swinfield,
David Swinfield & John Swinfield

Family 3A was very well represented

38 members of Family 3 came to the Gathering. All are descended from William Swinfield (1804-1876), a native of Wolvey in the county of Warwickshire in the English Midlands, who arrived with his family aboard the Walmer Castle which reached Sydney on 30th December 1848.

Family 3A has as its ancestor William's second son who survived to adulthood. That was John Swinfield (1838-1903) who was the child of William's first wife, Sarah Ballard (1800-1845). John's mother died prior to the family's emigration. By then, his father had married again to Sarah Williamson, the progenitor of Family 3C. John's oldest brother, Thomas (1824-1881), did not travel to Australia with his father and siblings. He has a large number of descendants still in England.
John and his wife, Eleanor Sophia Burrows (1840-1890), a granddaughter of Frederick Meredith, who had arrived in the First Fleet of 1788, produced 10 children. Three died in their infancy.

Leslie Ernest and David Frederick Ebenezer 
Andrew, Chloe, Lauren with
John William Swinfield 

Of their 6 adult sons, two were represented at the Swinfield Gathering. The oldest son, Henry (1858-1923), had two grandsons who were there. They are David Frederick Ebenezer and John William, who are first cousins. All 4 children of John William and 4 of his grandchildren also came along to meet their relatives.
Thea, Pamela, Lauren, Helen,
Andrew and Chloe descendants
of Henry & Eleanor Sophia Swinfield  
Sid and Linda Swinfield,
two more of Henry's descendants  

Leslie Ernest Swinfield, the grandson of their fifth surviving son, James Ernest (1871-1923), was also able to join us. He is second cousin to David and John. 

Alan and Cheryl Cooper with her father,
Leslie Ernest Swinfield  
He was accompanied by his daughter Cheryl and her husband, Alan Cooper, who celebrated his birthday on the day of the Gathering! 

10 May 2014

The Australian Swinfields gathered in force!

Di and I are now home from our five week holiday, where we visited Indonesia, to see my son Tom, and Australia. It was a wonderful experience to see just a very small part of Australia, travelling the east coast from Sydney to Brisbane and then moving on to Cairns and into the rain forest where we stayed at the wonderful Bloomfield Lodge.

On our return to Sydney, the Swinfield Gathering took place on Saturday 3rd May 2014 at the Calvary Retirement Community, now home to Ray Swinfield. He arranged for us all to meet there in what proved to be an excellent venue where we could mingle and chat with the 45 people who came together. 

Although the majority were from the Sydney area of New South Wales, others made the journey from other parts of the state whilst others travelled in from as far afield as Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria! Ray's sister-in-law, Annette, ably supported by his brother and nephew, the two Johns, brought in a wonderful array of cakes and kept everyone supplied with tea and coffee.

There was great excitement as people found themselves on the family trees which I had brought with me from England, identifying how they were related, and meeting newly-found cousins.
The attendees were all from Families 3 and 4, being descendants of William (1804-1876) and John (1806-1874), the two sons of Thomas and Elizabeth Swinfield who arrived in very late 1848 and very early1853. The vast majority are part of the very large pedigree 3, accounting for 38 of those who were there. Three members of Family 4 also came, representing John's family, which includes, as far as we know, no living Swinfields. 

Di kept us all in order so that we all knew exactly “who was who” and made sure that we had a photographic record of what was a very enjoyable and informative event.