Why I Love Genealogy

Why on Wednesdays

My new Weekly Series

So, I was talking with a new friend the other day and we happened to get on the subject of genealogy. That made me go “Oh I know what my next Why on Wednesdays blog post is going to be!” You guessed it! I have a neat genealogy story to share with you.

I love history. So, it stands to reason that I’d love my history and want to know about my genealogy. Luckily for me(I’m super busy for some reason) my parents both like genealogy as well and have some wonderful stories to share with me!

This is a story that my dad has passed to me that I want to share with you.  It is a tale about part of my family during the Revolutionary War.  No name changes needed, oh wait. . . . maybe they are or were rather.

Yes, that’s right.  There was a name change in my family tree during the Revolutionary War.

Here is how the story goes.  My way too many greats to count Grandfather was on his way home from a meeting when he was stopped by a British officer.  On his person was a card saying simply this “SWAIM”.  When questioned about this card my grandfather(who didn’t want to be in trouble) simply said that was his last name.  Swaim.  Well, that was not his last name but it was from that day forth.  You see, the card actually said S.W.A.I.M. (or would have if they believed in punctuation) because it stood for Sworn Warriors Against Invading Monarchs. . . . umm yeah I think telling the officer the true meaning of SWAIM just might have gotten him into a wee bit of trouble!

And so, in history from that time forward my family name was Swaim.  There are still some out there.  Of course, in my tree the Swaim married another and the last name changed, but it is still a neat bit of genealogy to me.

Do you have any neat, crazy, or interesting things in your family tree?  I have others and someday I’ll share my grandma’s story with you but this one was on my mind and I thought some of you might think it was fun.  I’d love to hear your stories in the comments!

21 comments

  1. Emily Ploch says:

    That is such an awesome story! I found out my grandmother changed her first name from Clara to Claire. And my great uncle was a paratrooper in World War II, died of war wounds and received a Silver Star. So cool!

  2. Kandi says:

    As far as I know I don’t have any facinating stories. My Great Grandpa came over here right before WW1 he worked enough and was able to bring his wife over here before WW2. Both received their citizenship in the 50’s. But then there is our married last name from our husband’s side… Still trying to figure out how they went from McHenry to what we have today lol

  3. Brandi says:

    That is such a neat story! I love looking into my family genealogy. Unfortunately, being adopted and having been so at a young age, it is hard finding information on my biological family.

  4. Tonya Bangart says:

    It’s so interesting hearing the stories of our past. My cousin has done a whole book of stories and genealogy dating back to before our ancestors came from Germany and the Netherlands.

    Our name went through more subtle changes… dropped letters and then changing the vowels. She’s still trying to find the reasons for some of the changes, but the first change apparently happened from a misspelling when they were first registered at Ellis Island.

    I can’t wait until she finally declares the history completed and we all get to read her book!

  5. Ben says:

    That is a really cool story. I’ve done some research into my family’s history but we hit a roadblock back in the early 1700’s. Apparently a courthouse in Virginia burned down and a lot of ships records and birth records were destroyed.

  6. Elizabeth Copeland says:

    I love that your family has researched its history and shared it through the generations. While my grandfather researched our family’s roots, I haven’t heard many of the stories, sadly. I have heard the ones from my maternal grandfather’s side though.

  7. Liberty Boblett says:

    When my grandmother passed, I received all the genealogy papers and tons of photographs. I haven’t had the time/desire/chance to really dig into them. I bought a Genealogy for Dummies book at a garage sale this past fall. Going to have to dig it out and read it!

  8. Lavonnia AllisonBurres says:

    I’ve done research on my side as well. We are the blood line of President Carter, another war hero, had family in England that were royalty of some sort before the now blood line. Somewhere somehow there is a second to thrown that got us all thrown off and came over to America in the 1300’s. I’ve been able to go back that far and still working on it. I’ll eventually get it all together and do my own post about it. I love doing it as it’s a lot of ancestors that I never knew existed. I love it! Pretty neat about the name change by the way!

  9. Lesley says:

    My husband’s company does a lot of work with genealogy. He always has really cool stories to tell about the things they find when researching families. We don’t have any cool stories in my family.

  10. Debbie says:

    Very interesting – I think it is great that you know about your ancestors. My brother is currently researching our past – fun to read about them. They were amazing people!

    • Erin S. says:

      So glad you’re learning some of your history too. I love finding out what my family was like and possibly why we do things the way we do.

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