Comment circa 1820. Click.

Swaine Genealogy
a severe headache

but here's the remedy

How, exactly, are the families named Swain(e) to be disentangled ?

Birth records give us the following array of Englishmen named Francis Swaine. Their occurrences are colour-co-ordinated by district.


Francis SWAINE - M Christening: 8 May 1553 St Michael-le-Belfry, Yorkshire
Frauncys SWAYNE - M Chr: 5 May 1566 Shrewsbury, St Julian, Shropshire
Francis SWAYNE - M Christening: 28 Oct 1575, Stafford
Franncis SWAYNE - M Christening: 18 Jun 1580 Shelsley Beauchamp, Worcester
Frauncis SWAYNE - M Christening: 1 May 1586 Compton nr Newbury, Berkshire
Frauncis SWANE - F Chr: 29 Jun 1589 Ashby by Partney, Lincoln
Francis SWAINE - M Chr: 19 Sep 1589 Stotfold, Bedford
Franciscus SWANNE - M Christening: 8 Oct 1600 Tanworth, Warwick
Francis SWANE - M Christening: 24 Apr 1603 Binfield, Berkshire
Frauncis SWAINE - F Chr: 18 Jan 1606 London, St. Bride Fleet St., London
Francys SWAYNE - M Chr: 23 Dec 1611 London, St. Botolph w. Aldgate, London
Franncis SWAINE - F Chr: 19 Apr 1613 Stoke by Nayland, Suffolk
Francis SWAINE- M Christening: Jan 1620 Binfield, Berkshire
Francis SWAYNE - M Chr: 16 Apr 1621 Wolverhampton, St. Peter, Stafford
Francis SWAIN - M Birth: about 1621 London
Francis SWAIN - M Birth: about 1625
Francis SWAINE - M Chr: 30 Nov 1628 Of Gilgate-St Clare, Yorkshire
Francis SWAINE - M Christening: 30 Nov 1628 York, Saint Olave, Yorkshire
Francis SWANE - F Chr: 6 Apr 1628 Aughton near Selby, Yorkshire
Francis SWAYNE - M Chr: 8 Feb 1629 Astwick, Bedford
Francis SWANE - M Chr: 8 Jan 1637 Wolverhampton, St. Peter, Stafford
Francis SWAYNE - M Christening: 16 Jun 1639 Bradford, Yorkshire
Francis SWAN - M Christening: 9 Sep 1649 Stepney, Saint Dunstan, London
Francis SWAINE M Chr:18 May 1653 York, Saint Michael-le-Belfry, Yorkshire
Francis SWAYNE - M Christening: 19 May 1658 Leeds, Peter, Yorkshire
Francis SWAYNE - M Birth: Mar 1660 Ockingham, Berkshire
Francis SWAIN - M Christening: 2 May 1664 Thorpe by Ashbourne, Derby,
Francis SWAYNE - M Birth: 19 Feb 1665 Binfield, Berkshire
Francis SWAYNE - M Christening: 21 Sep 1686 South Brent, Somerset
Francis SWAINE - M Chr: 4 Apr 1691 St. Bride Fleet St., London
Francis SWAIN - M Christening: 28 Jun 1696 Hurley, Berkshire
Francis SWAYNE - M Birth: 6 Feb 1697 Ockingham, Berkshire
Franciscus SWAINE - M Christening: 18 Apr 1697 Easthampstead, Berkshire
Francis SWAYNE: M Birth: About 1701, Berkshire
Francis SWAIN - M Chr: 22 Jun 1719 St.Botolph without Aldgate, London
Francis SWAINE - M Chr: 7 Oct 1725 Stepney, Saint Dunstan, London
Francis SWAINE - M Christening: 28 May 1740 Oxford, Saint Giles, Oxford
Anna Maria SWAIN - F Chr: 27 Jan 1750/51 Stepney, Saint Dunstan, London
Monamy SWAIN - M Chr: 27 Feb 1753 Stepney, Saint Dunstan, London

The painter's family appears to have stuck fairly firmly with the spelling Swaine, at least by the turn of the 17th century. To my knowledge, Francis signed his paintings with an "e". However, neither the spelling of the baptismal name, nor surname, would have been a major concern for the parish clerk who recorded life events.

Here are the Londoners

Frauncis SWAINE - F Chr: 18 Jan 1606 London, St. Bride Fleet St., London
Francys SWAYNE - M Chr: 23 Dec 1611 London, St. Botolph w. Aldgate, London
Francis SWAIN - M Birth: about 1621 London
Francis SWAN - M Christening: 9 Sep 1649 Stepney, Saint Dunstan, London
Francis SWAINE - M Chr: 4 Apr 1691 St. Bride Fleet St., London

Francis SWAIN - M Chr: 22 Jun 1719 St.Botolph without Aldgate, London
Francis SWAINE - M Chr: 7 Oct 1725 Stepney, Saint Dunstan, London
Anna Maria SWAIN - F Chr: 27 Jan 1750/51 Stepney, Saint Dunstan, London
Monamy SWAIN - M Chr: 27 Feb 1753 Stepney, Saint Dunstan, London

The British Calendar (New Style) Act took place in 1750.
The year 1751 began on 25 March and ended on 31 December. 1752 began on 1 January.

These data come from the IGI. Unusually, the age of Anna Maria Swain(e) at her christening is specifically give as "1". However, this figure "1" appears in several instances at St Dunstan's, and it is difficult to know exactly what is being implied. The date of her christening, 27 Jan 1750, would have been rendered in Old Style, and would today be recorded as 27 Jan 1751. However, if she was at least one year old in January 1751, she would have been born at the end of 1749 or very shortly afterwards. There is now no way of determining her exact date of birth, but since her parents were married on 29 June 1749, it is very possible she was conceived before the marriage date. There can be little doubt of her parentage, since her mother's name is given as Mary. The Swain(e) spellings are inconsistent.


Allhallows was a church associated, to an extent, with City dignitaries. Mary Monamy may have married there by virtue of her parentage. Swaine must otherwise have been a parishioner of St Dunstan's, Stepney, at least until 1754. He is said to have lived later in Strutton Ground, Westminster, and then Chelsea.


I have not yet come across any ascertainable source reference for the assertion that Swaine moved to Westminster and, later, Chelsea, where he is reported to have died in 1782, and it may be that this account has merely been copied from one reference book to another. The indications from the first half of the C18th, at least until about 1754, are that the Swaine family was long attached to the parish of St Dunstan's in Stepney, but success from about 1758 onwards may have enabled Francis to upsize, upmarket.


We are, however, so far only scratching the surface of these relationships, and there is much more sorting to be done. Stay tuned.

Another trawl through the IGI records provides yet more bewildering data. The parents of Francis Swain (born 1719) and Francis Swaine (born 1725) have the same names. That these are different couples, however, is indicated by the following:

Next, the children of Francis and Ann(e) Swain(e) can be listed. Without inspecting the actual records, which may give additional clues, there is little hope of deciding which children belong to which parents. One has to assume that Joel Swaine was the son of the Francis who married Ann Joel; but even that is not totally certain. Jan 2013: it is now.

Other Sources

swaine & van de velde
prints after swaine
more swaine
yet more swaine
monamy website index
site introduction


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© Charles Harrison Wallace 2002, 2003, 2013
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