Friday, May 5, 2017

April Genealogy Pursuits

This has been a good month, although a very busy month.  We were gone for about 10 days, so my genealogy searches slowed down somewhat.  However, by keeping up with my hints, I came across a whole new line to pursue!

Here's what I had known: my great-great-great grandmother, Elizabeth Swain, had been born in 1838 in Ohio to parents John Louman Swain and Nancy Waters.

I had never researched Elizabeth's mother, Nancy Waters, so when I saw a hint for her, I was thrilled. That hint led me to her parents, James Waters and Mary Lanier. I learned that they had married in Pendleton County, Kentucky in 1810.  I then found James Waters listed in the 1850 census of Preble County, Ohio where he was listed as age 73 living with his son James Waters.

However, this is where my research veered off.  I found that Mary Lanier's parents were Isham Lanier and Catherine "Caty" Underwood.  Isham was born in 1765 in Virginia.  His parents were James Henry Lanier and Mary Cooke.  James was born in 1724 in Virginia. And James' parents were Thomas Sampson Lanier and Elizabeth Washington (Thomas born in 1682 in Virginia).  And lastly, Thomas's parents were John Lanier and Sarah Edmonds (John born in 1656 in England).

So to sum up, this has taken me from my 3rd grandparent to my 9th grandparents! All of this information will now lead to further research to successfully verify for myself that it is all accurate.  It is so thrilling to find new information! As for now, I'm off to do more research!


  1. I am also a descendant Valentine Hanauer and Elizabeth Swain. I had always thought that Elizabeth was the daughter of John Louman Swain and Nancy Waters, as this was confirmed by the 1850 Census. I am confused though, because her death certificate says her parents are Isaac and Mary, but I have found no evidence of this. Additionally in the 1880 Census her father is said to be born in Pennsylvania and her mother in Kentucky. This would confirm John and Nancy. Have you found any other stronger prices of evidence connecting John and Nancy to Elizabeth?

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  4. I found that their daughter (Elizabeth's sister), Mrs. Nancy Agnes (Swain) Waters had John Swain and Nancy Waters listed as parents on her death certificate, so that is one more piece of proof!

  5. Thanks, that does give some prove. There is so much on the internet about the Lanier family. I have linked to some of the best information I found. This book:

    traces the line of Laniers from France/ England down to Isham Lanier and Catharine Underwood. This family tree:

    shows the whole Lanier family if you click on the "ancestors" tab. According to this the Lanier family was descended of John Flood. He was an early Jamestown settler, arriving in America in 1610. This would make both of us eligible to join the Jamestown Society- he is on their registry. Another claim from this site is that Sampson Lanier was the son of John Lanier, who fought in Nathaniel Bacon's Rebellion. Also, shown here:

    our potential ancestor, Elizabeth Washington Lanier was distantly related to George Washington. It is documented that the Washingtons were descended from English royalty. Countless articles come up if you search "George Washington Royal Ancestry" on google.

    Because there is so many notable people in the Lanier family, I would like to definitively prove Elizabeth Swain Hanauer was related to this branch. I am certain she is my ancestor. I'm still trying to sort out her death certificate. I have over a dozen other family members with these, and I have never seen them list the wrong parents before. I'm currently trying to see if John Louman Swain left a will, but I cannot find any evidence of that yet. I don't believe Valentine Hanauer and Elizabeth Swain Hanauers' marriage license lists any parents, but sometimes there is more than one so I will have to look into that too. Here is Isham Swain's biography:

    It makes no mention of his potential sister, Elizabeth, but she was dead by this time and it only listed his living siblings. I plan to keep looking for anything else I can find, and see if there is any potential for her to actually be the daughter of Isaac and Mary Swain. I apologize for writing all this, but I feel like there is so much information to sort through. Thanks for responding to my first comment.