By the Bridge

The Swantons of County Cork,
Boston, MA and Brooklyn, NY

by Ginni Swanton

Michael and Jane McCarthy Swanton Family Tree

Michael Swanton, and son of Michael Swanton and Bessie Bradfield Swanton, was baptized in the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Enniskeane on March 13, 1849. His baptismal sponsors were John Keeffe and Ellen Hickey.

Michael Swanton Baptism 1849
Michael Swanton's Baptismal Record
March 13, 1849

Michael was confirmed on June 15,1864 in the Roman Catholic church of Desertserges by the Rev. Denis O’Donohue, parish priest. When he was confirmed, Michael Swanton lived in the townland of Boulteen, and his age was recorded as 12.

Michael Swanton's Confirmation 1864
Michael Swanton's Confirmation Record
June 15, 1864

On January 8, 1873, Michael Swanton married Jane McCarthy in the Roman Catholic Chapel of Bandon. Their marriage witnesses were Michael Hickey and John Spillane. Jane McCarthy was the daughter of Jeremiah McCarthy, steward of Clancool. Michael Swanton was a carpenter living in East Gully, son of Michael Swanton, a carpenter. They were married by Father J. O’Brien, parish priest.

Michael Swanton Marriage
Michael Swanton's Marriage Record
January 8, 1873

In 1873, Michael and Jane Swanton lived in Clancool, just outside of Bandon, where their first child was born on November 24, 1873. The baby was a girl, and they named her Eliza Swanton after Michael’s mother. Mary McCarthy of Clancool was present at Eliza’s birth and reported it to the Bandon Registrar of Births. Mary McCarthy may have been Jane’s mother.

On April 13,1875, Michael and Jane McCarthy Swanton welcomed their second daughter, Mary Anne Swanton. The family was living in Lower Clancool, Bandon when Mary Anne was born, and Michael was working as a carpenter. Mary McCarthy was also present at Mary Anne’s birth and reported it to the registrar.

Usually the firstborn boy was named after the father’s father, or occasionally after the mother’s father. I had thought that Michael and Jane had broken from this tradition until I received mail from their great grandson, Edward Terence Swanton in 2001. He was descended from Michael and Jane’s oldest son, Michael. I hadn’t found a birth record for Michael, and my correspondence with Edward opened up a whole new family line I hadn’t been aware of previously. Michael Swanton was born on October 27,1876, and was baptized at St. Patrick’s Church in Bandon. His baptismal sponsors were Dan O’Leary and Ann Donovan.

On June 23,1878, Michael and Jane Swanton’s second son, John Swanton, was born. The family was still living in Clancool, Bandon when John was born. John’s birth was reported by his mother, Jane Swanton, who used an “X” to mark her signature.

Michael and Jane McCarthy Swanton moved to Boulteen, most likely into the house that Michael’s parents had been renting there, and on October 8,1880, their third son, George, was born in Boulteen. George was born just two months after Michael’s parents and brothers, Robert and James, immigrated to Boston. Bessie Bradfield Swanton missed the birth of her grandson, John, by two months, and never got to meet him.

On August 27,1882, Jane Swanton gave birth to her third daughter, who she named Jane after herself. When Jane was born, the Swantons were still living in Boulteen, where Michael worked as a carpenter.

On May 8,1884, their third son, James Swanton, was born in Boulteen. There is no record of the baptisms of any of Michael and Jane Swanton’s children in the Roman Catholic records for Enniskeane, so they may have all been baptized in Bandon, most likely at St. Patrick’s Church .

Michael Swanton may have left Ireland in 1884 and in 1886, the Swanton house in Boulteen was vacant. . Michael Swanton immigrated to the United States, possibly to Brooklyn, New York, where his son Michael and daughter Mary Anne immigrated to.

Michael Swanton, the son of Michael and Elizabeth Bradfield Swanton, died in the Long Island Hospital in Boston on April 28,1922 at the age of 74. The cause of his death was myocarditis-cachexia and carcinoma of the inguinal glands (prostate cancer) . At the time of his death, Michael Swanton’s residence was 5 Wall Street, and he was a carpenter. He was still married, but I haven’t been able to find a trace of his wife, Jane McCarthy Swanton, in Boston. The death record gives the names of his parents, but doesn’t give the name of his wife.

The following information was provided by Lynn Urban, the granddaughter of Vincent and Mary Ann Swanton Smithwick.

My grandpa's sister, great Aunt Lucy Caffrey told me a little about Jane McCarthy Swanton. Aunt Lucy said the following:

Michael came to the states first, then sent for Jane and their children. They settled in Brooklyn. Michael then left for Boston. Family was already settled there and would find him a job. Jane never saw or heard from him again.

Aunt Lucy told me that her grandmother Jane stood 4'11" and had jet black hair down past her waist. Aunt Lucy would stand behind her grandmother, and brush her hair. She said that Jane would often speak of her husband Michael, and believed that the indians must have gotten him. Jane was said to take in laundry and sewing to care for her children. Aunt Lucy told me that Grandma Jane prayed for her husband Michael until the day she died.

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