By the Bridge

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

by Ginni Swanton

James Swanton and Catherine Regan Reily
(Second Marriage for James)
James Swanton 2 Chart

On June 10, 1871, James Swanton, the son of John Swanton, and the widower of Cate Carty Swanton, married for the second time. James married Catherine (Kate) Reily (maiden name Regan), a 45 year old widow, in the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Enniskeane, County Cork. They were married by Father Daniel Coveney, the parish priest.

The witnesses to Jamesí and Cateís marriage were Margaret Crowley and Mary Regan. In the parish marriage record, Jamesí fatherís name was recorded as John Swanton, farmer, deceased, and Kateís fatherís name was Patrick Regan, farmer, deceased.

Although James was over 60 years old, on August 1, 1874, he and Kate Regan had a son, James Stephens (Stevens) Swanton. At the time of their sonís birth, James and Kate lived in the village of Coppeen, in the townland of Cappeen West, in the parish of Kinneigh, in the Poor Law Union of Dunmanway, County Cork.

On January 28, 1875, the following article appeared in the West Carbery Eagle newspaper, and it most likely referred to this James Swanton.


To the Editor of the Cork Constitution

Sir -- You would oblige by giving insertion in your influential Journal to the following good act of an agent, which sufficiently speaks for itself: -- A tenant of the Earl of Bandon's, named James Swanton, living in Kinneigh, presented himself on Saturday last at the office in Bandon. When asked for the half-year's rent, which was a considerable time overdue, he answered that he could not pay it. He explained, however, that his inability to pay arose from domestic troubles, bad harvests and losses in cattle, etc. What is the reply of Edward Applebe Esq., Lord Bandon's agent, to this statement? Does he serve a notice to quit? No -- he pays out of his own pocket 12 pounds 10s, the amount of the half-year's rent for Swanton, who returns home with a light heart, blessing his benefactor. What was the surprise and gratitude of that fabulous character from whose shoulders the hump was removed by the wand of the fairies, compared with the wonder and thanks of this poor man from whose mind a real mountain of care was removed by this generous act? When the kindness of the agent is so great, what may not this poor man hope for from the munificence of his noble landlord? -

I am your obedient servant,


In 1888, James and Kate Regan Swanton, decided to join their families in America. With their son, James Stephens Swanton, they sailed to Boston on the S. S. Catalonia, arriving on June 4, 1888. James Swanton Sr. was about 75 when he emigrated, Kate was 57, and James Jr. was 14.

Their passage was paid for by a stepdaughter, Anna Crowley of Plymouth, MA. Anna may have been Kate Regan Swantonís daughter from her first marriage. The notes on James Swantonís immigration record indicated that he had three other daughters there. On this immigration record, Jamesí occupation was recorded as a laborer.

James Swanton died at the age of 75 of bronchitis the day after Christmas, on December 26, 1888, just six months after he arrived in Plymouth. Kate Regan Swanton died in Plymouth in 1909.

Next: Michael Swanton and Elizabeth (Bessie) Bradfield

Return to Table of Contents

Home Page