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Re: Van Pelts who changed their surname to Swaim
Posted by: John Field Pankow (ID *****5675) Date: October 07, 2007 at 02:06:35
In Reply to: Re: Van Pelts who changed their surname to Swaim by Laraine Clark of 1167

Now, this is truly fascinating to me, as I am connected to both of these least if you are referring to the Swaim family who were involved in publishing newspapers in Greensboro, Guilford Co., NC in the ante-bellum era....and from whom Wm. Sidney Porter, the writer O. Henry, descends. I always had in mind that the Swaims were Welsh, though I have not spent any time researching that family, as they are only connected to me through marriage.

But back to the Van Pelts. As I understand it, the original name was said to have been Laenen Van Pelt, and some who came to NY in the 1600s took the name Lane, and some took Van Pelt. (Oddly, I am kin by marriage to Lanes, as well.) This could get really confusing, ha ha.

As I understand it, there was a Simon Van Pelt (1715-1769, I think a grandson of Jan Teunisse Laenen Van Pelt, b. 1645, mentioned in your post) in NY who married a Maria Adams, and they came to Bertie Co., NC in the 1750s, accompanied by various children, including Simon Van Pelt, Jr. (c.1738-1799). Simon Van Pelt, Jr. appears to have married several times. He apparently showed up in Mecklenburg Co., NC around the time of the Revolution, and died there in 1799.

Simon had several sons....the two of whom have caused me the most confusion being Abraham Van Pelt (1786-1856) and William S. Van Pelt (1799-1851). The two men lived near each other and both had ten children. It took me the longest time to try to sort out which children belonged to which man, but I think I've finally got it sorted out.... I think.

Abraham Van Pelt married Jane Reed in 1808, and they had the following children:

1. unknown daughter, born 1808/10, with family in 1840, gone in 1850.
2. Mary Emmeline Van Pelt (c.1809/10-aft. 1893) m. Allen Shive, went to Mississippi.
3. Ruth Caroline Van Pelt (1812-1883) m. William Alfred DeMarcus
4. Jane H. Van Pelt (c.1815-aft. 1860) m. A. Hilliard Howell, 2. Benjamin F. Wade
5. Margaret A. Van Pelt (c. 1819/22-aft. 1855) m. Jacob Litaker, 2. John Bingham
6. Elizabeth Teresa Van Pelt (1824-aft. 1900) m. George Edward Litaker
7. unknown son, born betw. 1826/30, not with family in 1850...perhaps Charles?
8. Sarah A. (c.1830)
9. Samuel Joseph F. Van Pelt (1833-1896) m. Mary Litaker, mayor of Statesville, NC.
10. Abraham C. Van Pelt (1834-aft. 1900) m. Louisa Owens, went to Alabama.

William S. Van Pelt married Mary Carrigan in 1821, and they had the following children:

1. James Simpson Van Pelt (c.1822-1864) m. Sarah Amanda Minster, killed in the War.
2. John Richard Van Pelt (1824-1911) m. 3 times.
3. Margaret Isabel Van Pelt (c. 1825-aft. 1900) m. Charles Van Pelt, a cousin?
4. unknown son, born betw. 1826/1830 per census.
5. William Carrigan Van Pelt (c.1828-1900) m. Harriet Simms
6. Mary Jane Van Pelt (1831-1905) m. Levi Bell, my line
7. Thomas S. Van Pelt (c.1834-?) m. Nancy J. Douglass
8. unknown, possibly Hugh Franklin Van Pelt (c.1835-1863) killed in War.
9. Samuel Ely Van Pelt (1838-1907) m. Isabella Douglass, sister to Nancy
10. unknown daughter, born 1836/40, gone before 1850.

I could probably track down some of my male Van Pelt kin and try to get them to take a DNA test if you think it would be of use.

Mary Jane Van Pelt married Levi Bell (1812-1893), as his second wife. They had six children, the second of whom was Mary Rhetta Bell (1862-1947) who married Ernest Marion Field (1866-1902) in 1888. Their son John Levi Field (1899-1963) was my grandfather. I never knew him as he died before I was born.

Now, to go back in a different direction and pick up the Swaim connections... Ernest Marion Field was a son of John Andrew Field (1846-1883) and Mary Adeline Wilkinson (1846-1906). John Andrew was a son of Elswick Sherwood Field (1808-1867) and Guilianna L. Lindsay (1807-1885). Elswick was a son of Jeremiah Field (c.1764-1830) and Eleanor Sherwood (1776-1859). Eleanor was a daughter of Daniel Sherwood III (1749-1838) and Frances Linthicum (1749-1806) who came from Talbot Co., Maryland to Guilford Co., NC around 1779. Daniel and Frances had three children who married Swaims: Elizabeth Sherwood (1773-1835) m. William Swaim, Priscilla Sherwood (1777-?) m. Michael Swaim and Benjamin Sherwood (1783-1865) m. Sarah "Sallie" Swaim.

Various Sherwood and Swaim cousins were involved in publishing various newspapers in Greensboro and Guilford Co. from the 1830s up until the War. It's funny, just the other day, someone sent me a copy of a letter that Jesse H. Lindsay (first cousin to my 3rd great grandmother, Guilianna Lindsay Field) wrote to Lyndon Swaim in 1839, suggesting that Mr. Swaim purchase the Greensboro Patriot newspaper.

Of course, I don't know for a fact that this is the Swaim family you mean. As to the Lanes, that connection comes through Rev. Benton Field (1797-1871) first born son, and second of eleven children born to Jeremiah Field and Eleanor Sherwood. He went to Leaksville, Rockingham Co., NC and got tangled up with a bunch of Lanes. It would take a long time to explain it, and you aren't looking for Lanes anyway.

I am most interested in any information you can give me on the early Van Pelts in New York.

Best Regards,

John Field Pankow
Asheville, NC

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