Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and love that this blog helps with that. I consider much of my research as a work in progress, so please let me know if you have conflicting information. Some of the surnames I'm researching:

Many old Cape families including Kelley, Eldredge/idge, Howes, Baker, Mayo, Bangs, Snow, Chase, Ryder/Rider, Freeman, Cole, Sears, Wixon, Nickerson.
Many old Plymouth County families including Washburn, Bumpus, Lucas, Cobb, Benson.
Johnson (England to MA)
Corey (Correia?) (Azores to MA)
Booth, Jones, Taylor, Heatherington (N. Ireland to Quebec)
O'Connor (Ireland to MA)
My male Mayflower ancestors (only first two have been submitted/approved by the Mayflower Society):
Francis Cooke, William Brewster, George Soule, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, Richard Warren, Peter Browne, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, James Chilton, John Tilley, Stephen Hopkins, and John Howland.
Female Mayflower ancestors: Mary Norris Allerton, Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, Mrs. James Chilton, Sarah Eaton, and Joan Hurst Tilley.
Child Mayflower ancestors: Giles Hopkins, (possibly) Constance Hopkins, Mary Allerton, Francis Billington, Love Brewster, Mary Chilton, Samuel Eaton, and Elizabeth Tilley.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Josiah Swift ca 1675 to 1750s Sandwich, Massachusetts

 Josiah Swift was born about 1675 (a rough estimate), in Sandwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts, the son of William 2 (William 1) and Ruth [—?—] Swift. He is my 8th great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Ellis Davis' side of the family. He married, first, Mary Bodfish in Sandwich on 19 April 1706 (Sandwich VR p 72). Mary was of Barnstable at their marriage; she was born 1 March 1680 to Joseph and Elizabeth (Besse) Bodfish. 

Josiah and Mary had four children (Sandwich VR p 82-3):

William born 22 August 1707, m. Elizabeth Wheeler in Lebanon, Connecticut

Mary born October 1710, married Nathan Barlow at Sandwich

Josiah Jr. born November 1712 married Mrs. Mary Morey at Plymouth

Joanna born February 1714 and died young

In Joseph Bodfish’s 20 August 1735 will, he left bequests to "the four children of my deceased dau. Mary Swift.” This is puzzling since from what I’ve found in 1735 three of Mary’s children were living, so perhaps I am missing a child. 

Mary died before 1718 when Josiah married, second, Experience Nye in Sandwich on 23 June (Sandwich VR p 108).  Experience was born Sandwich 16 December 1682, the daughter of John and Esther (Shed) Nye. Josiah and Experience had four children (Sandwich VR p 82-3):

Mercy b. 19 April 1719, m. John Pope, died 1815

Hannah born 15 February 1720/21 [I’ve seen her husband as both Nathan Davis and Benjamin Collins of Lebanon; need to do more research]

Joanna b. 25 August 1723, m. Benjamin Gibbs

John b. 3 October 1727, m. Desire Swift at Falmouth

I descend from Josiah and Experience’s daughter Mercy who married John Pope. I wrote about that couple here.  

In John Nye’s 9 July 1720 will, he left a bequest to "my dau. Experience Swift.”

Josiah also owned land in Lebanon, Connecticut, and Plymouth and Wareham, Massachusetts, but I’ve found no indication he lived anywhere but Sandwich. Although it is interesting that his children William and Hannah’s spouses were from Lebanon. 

In his December 1705 will, William Swift left his son Josiah his house and land in Sandwich, except for one lot to go to his grandchildren. This is unusual because Josiah is the youngest son, but perhaps the older sons already received land from their father or had substantial land of their own. 

Josiah Swift, yeoman of Sandwich, wrote his will 23 October 1753 which was presented at court 6 December 1757, so he died between those two dates. (Barnstable Probate 9:311).  He mentions his wife Experience, son William of Lebanon received all the housing and land in Lebanon, sons Josiah and John who were to receive half the Lebanon land if William didn’t have children, and daughters Mary, Mercy, Joanna, and Hannah. His wife Experience and Elisha Tupper of Sandwich were named executors. 

An inventory of the estate of Josiah Swift of Sandwich was presented 19 December 1757 and included real estate at Lebanon valued at 400 pounds, land at Sandwich, Wareham and Plymouth valued at 800 pounds (Barnstable Probate 9:314).  He also owned livestock, farm implements, as well as gold and silver. His inventory includes a “negro man, ” such a heart wrenching thing to see. 

Josiah Swift is mentioned in Plymouth Court Records, although I’m not sure if they are all referring to the Josiah or his son of the same name. 

December 1733: Josiah Swift (Sandwich Cordwainer) v. Ebenezer Morton or Joseph Bearce (both Plymouth Yeoman or Labourers) by atty. James Otis, Gent. Debt, on bond dated 9 November 1731 for 35 pounds on demand. Default by defendants. Bond chanced. Judgment for 19 pounds 6 shillings 8 pence and costs of 3 pounds 4 shillings 6 pence. Appealed by defendants with Daniel Johnson (Bridgewater Yeoman) and John Hyland Jr. (Scituate Yeoman) sureties. (PCR 5: 55-59)

April 1734: Josiah Swift (Sandwich Cordwainer) v. Ebenezer Morton  and Joseph Pearce (Both Plymouth Yeoman), or either. Debt. Defendants pleaded in abatement. Abated. Costs for defendants taxed. (PCR 5: 14-16)

September 1737: Josiah Swift (Sandwich Cordwainer) v. Joseph Burge Jr. (Rochester Weaver) by atty John Otis, Esq., Debt, on bond dated 16 October 1732 for 44 pounds “Current Lawfull Money of New England” on demand. Default by defendant; bond chanced. Judgment for 25 pounds 6 shillings 10 pence and costs of 2 pounds 13 shillings. Appealed by defendant, with Timothy Ruggles Jr., Gent. and Daniel Lewis, Gent. (PCR 6: 194-199)

December 1756: Josiah Swift (Sandwich Yeoman) attached Robert Brown Esq. (Plimouth) Trespass on the Case, on 6-month note dated 27 April 1756 for 10 pounds, 6 shillings payable to plaintiff or his order, to plaintiffs damage of 20 pounds. Default by defendant, judgement for the full amount plus costs of 1 pound 10 shillings 7 pence. Appealed by defendant. (PCR 11:186-189)

Experience Nye Swift died 3 April 1761 in Sandwich. 


Eben Swift, ”William Swift and Descendants to the Sixth Generation," 1923, Pamphlet No. 15, Library of Cape Cod History and Genealogy

Jane Fletcher Fiske, “William Swift, Citizen and Leatherseller of London, and Planter of Sandwich, Massachusetts,” The American Genealogist, Vol 77, no. 3, July 2002 

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