Friday, February 21, 2014

John Swain and all those Girls

Milus and Katy Swain, Parker or Knox, TX circa 1905.
click on the photo to see it larger

Meet my great-great grandpa, Milus Swain. He's the tall man on the right. 
And then meet my great-grandpa, John William Swain
or Willy as they called him, he's the boy on the left.  

John had six older sisters ( his oldest sister died of  pneumonia at the age of 1). When John's mother, Margaret, died when he was three, his father, Milus, remarried the woman in this photo, Katy Stimpson. It would take 8 years and four more daughters ( although it looks like five from this photo) before another male Swain would come along. John must have learned early how to get along with women! By the time he left home he had lived with two mothers, ten sisters, and his step-mother's mother (from census records it looks like she lived with the family for over 10 years. She's in the photo in black). After this photo, the girl streak ended. Six more children were born to Milus and Katy, but only one more daughter.

Milus had even more women in his life. He was the man of the house for his three older sisters and widowed mother before he was even 7. And then he ended up having 11 daughters of his own. So when my brother, a Swain, who's expecting his first child asks whether I think he's having a boy or a girl. . . I have to say, it's going to be a girl!

A big thank you to Ron Gaddy for sharing this photo. This picture comes from his grandmother, Louella Hayre. She is the daughter of Milus' sister, Permella Rebecca Swain.

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