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Swaim, Sweem, Swim, Van Pelt


This is a Y chromosome DNA surname project that invites all men with the surname of Swaim or any variant spelling (Swim, Swims, Swem, Sweem, Sweim, etc) to participate. We also invite men with the VAN PELT surname to participate, as old research claimed that the SWAIM family descended from the VAN PELT family. There are some SWAIN men whose ancestors were SWAIMs who changed the surname to SWAIN and they are invited to participate.

It would be helpful for project participants to share their SWAIM ancestries, back to earliest known SWAIM ancestor. Please also email the Swaim group administrator with this Swaim ancestral information, as this will help in the grouping and comparing of results. (If you are a Van Pelt, please include your VAN PELT ancestry, back to the earliest VAN PELT ancestor.)

So far we have identified the following groups, however these group assignments could be adjusted, as more men participate in the project:
1. John Swaim (1719) and Charity Teague descendants through sons other than John
2. John Swaim (1748-1828) of Randolph County, NC descendants
3. John Swaim (1757-abt 1832) of Wilkes County, NC descendants
4. Michael Swaim (1711?-abt 1782) of Guilford County, NC descendants through sons other than a John
5. Descendants of “Other” Swaim ancestors, not listed above
6. Descendants of Swim, Swims, Sweem, Swem or other variant spelling of the Swaim surname
7. Other surname who claims a direct father to son descendancy from a Swaim, this includes the SWAIN surname.
8. Teunis Jansen Lanen VAN PELT or Mathys VAN PELT (immigrants of the mid 1600's to Staten Island) descendants

Please see project background below for an explanation of the Swaim heritage that has resulted in the formation of the above named groupings of participants:

John Swaim (b. 1719 in Staten Island, New York) was married abt 1740 to Charity Teague, daughter of William Teague, who was b. 1722 in Maryland.

John and his brothers had gone to the area of what was then Frederick County, Virginia (now located in West Virginia) and acquired land in this area. By the 1760's, John Swaim had moved his family to North Carolina. John acquired his land by Abbots Creek, in Rowan Co., North Carolina, according to a deed dated 6 Aug. 1759. His original land grant was on "Brushy Mountain" and was located in what is today's Yadkin Co., (North Carolina) S.W. of "Star Peak".

John and Charity had the following known children: (1) William Swaim (married to Anna Nancy Robbins); (2) Charity; (3) Elizabeth; (4) Rachel Swaim (married to Abraham Enyart or Innyart); (5) Solomon D. Swaim; (6) John Swaim (more on him later); (7) Moses Swaim; (8) Michael Swaim.
Of his son John, there are two men who different researchers conclude are his son. John Swaim, b. abt 1748 and married to Elizabeth Vickrey was a resident of Randolph County, NC and died abt 1828. The other John Swaim that some have claimed to be the son of John Swaim and Charity Teague is John Swaim, b. abt 1757, who was a resident of Wilkes County, NC and died sometime after 1832.

The parents of John Swaim (who married Charity Teague) are claimed by some researchers to be William Swaim and Mary Lazalare (Lagalere) and by other researchers to be Anthony Swaim and Maria Drageau.

John Swaim (1719, married to Charity Teague) had a brother by the name of Michael Swaim, who was married to Martha Worthington at the time of his death. Michael was in Frederick County, VA with John Swaim and likewise ended up in North Carolina, residing in Guilford County, NC. Many of the Swaim descendants in the Guilford County, NC area trace their ancestries to Michael Swaim. Michael was deceased by 1782. Some researchers claim that John Swaim of Randolph County, NC was his son, others suggest that John Swaim of Wilkes County may have been his son and others contend that this Michael Swaim did not have a son named John.

The origin of the Swaim surname has also been contested by researchers in the past. What has been agreed upon was that there was a Dutch immigrant, who came to Staten Island when it was still "New Amsterdam" in the mid 1600's. When he came to Staten Island, he had a minor son by the name of Anthony. It was in the generation of the son Anthony or in the generation of the children of Anthony (by 1700) that the surname of "Swaim" was created and began to be passed down to all of the descendants. The surname has had variant spellings of Swim, Swims, Sweem, Swem, Sweim, Swayme etc. The surname of "Swain" is a separate name and not to be confused, although some record keepers have made the error in their records. However, there were some SWAIM men who did change their surname to the SWAIN spelling.

Again there was disagreement among the researchers as to the name of the original Dutch immigrant. Some claimed him to be Teunis Jansen Lanen Van Pelt or Mathys Van Pelt and others claimed him to be Thys Barentsen. Published materials reflect these conflicting claims.

There are some researchers that claimed that various Swaim families of North Carolina are not related and others claimed that they were all descended from the same Dutch immigrant ancestor.

We are also trying to help the Van Pelt family determine if the Van Pelts in the USA are all descended from the immigrant brothers, Teunis Van Pelt and Mathys Van Pelt, or if there were unrelated men who took on the Van Pelt surname.

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