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Pickaway County, Ohio
History & Genealogy

 

History of Pickaway County
Source:  History of Franklin & Pickaway Counties, Ohio
Illustrations and Biographical Sketches
Published by Williams Bros. 1880

 

JACKSON TOWNSHIP
 

* JACKSON TOWNSHIP
* INDIANS
* THE JOLIFF SURVEY
* FIRST SCHOOL
* PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
* EARLY BURIAL PLACES.
* FIRST MILL.
* FIRST MAIL ROUTE AND POST OFFICE
* THE FIRST ROAD.
* FLORENCE GRANGE, NO. 874
* BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

 

BIOGRAPHIES
 

THE SWEARINGEN FAMILY    

     In connection with the view of the house of Henry B. Swearingen, published in this work, we give the following brief sketch of the Swearingen family.
    
The original representative of the family in America was Garrett Van Swerengen (as the name was spelled), who was a native of Brabant, a province of Holland.  HE emigrated with his family, consisting of his wife, Barbara (De Barette), and two children - Zachariah and Elizabeth - to the American colonies, about the year 1654.  He settled near Annapolis, Maryland, and in 1669 he and his family were naturalized citizens of the province of Maryland.  Zachariah had four sons: Thomas Van, John and Samuel.
     The children of Thomas were two sons, namely: Thomas and Van, who, according to an old "History of the Valley of Virginia," settled in a neighborhood of Shepherdstown, that State, on or near the Cohongornton, in the year 1734, and were among the first settlers on that water-course and its vicinity.  Van Swearingen was county lieutenant of militia of the county of Berkeley, Virginia.  He bore the title of colonel, and was a man of local note.  He was the father of five children, of whom Josiah, the next in lineal descent, was the oldest, born Mar. 28, 1744.  He was a captain under General Lewis in Lord Dunmore's war.  He married, on the fifth day of January, 1777, Phebe Strode, who was born on the eighth day of December, 1747.  He died Aug. 9, 1795, and she July 6, 1786.  They had three sons - Thomas, James and Samuel, and a daughter, Eleanor, who became the wife of Governor Thomas Worthington.
     James Strode Worthington
, who was the second son of Josiah and Phebe Swearingen, was born in Berkeley county, Virginia, now Jefferson county, West Virginia, on the third day of February, 1782.  At the age of thirteen he became a clerk in a store at Battletown (now Berryville), Virginia, near Winchester, where he remained about two years.  He then went into the county clerk's office, as a clerk, at Winchester, Frederick county, and remained about four years, when, on account of ill health, he was compelled to seek other employment.  His experience in the county office was an excellent school for him, and he there formed those methodical habits so characteristic of him during his life.
     In 1799 he came to Chillicothe, having exchanged his land in Virginia with Governor Worthington for land in the vicinity of Chillicothe.  In 1800 he was appointed an ensign in the army, and two years afterwards he set out from Chillicothe for Detroit, on horseback, accompanied by a guide.  The country was almost a complete wilderness, there being, at that time, no settlement between Chillicothe and Lake Erie except the old town of Franklintown, and he made this part of the journey without a morsel of food to eat.   He was, at this time, a first or second lieutenant, and on his arrival at Detroit, he was placed in command of a company and sent to Chicago, where he assisted in building old Fort Dearborn.  He was afterwards stationed at different points:  Fort Pickering, Mississippi; Fort Mifflin, below Philadelphia; Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and other places, but most of the time he was on the frontier.
     Nov. 4, 1811, while stationed at Pittsburg, he was united in marriage to Nancy, daughter of Henry and Rachel (Strode) Bedinger.  She was born Jan. 7, 1737.  Her remote ancestor, Adam Bedinger, was a native of Alsace, Germany.  He and his family were protestants, and to escape persecution after the conquest, which resulted in the cession of Alsace to France, he emigrated to America, landing at Philadelphia in 1734.  Soon thereafter he joined a party of German emigrants, who settled upon those beautiful, rich lands on the Conowago, York county, Pennsylvania.  His son Henry married Magdalena Schlegel (Slagle, as anglicised), and removed to Shepherdstown, Virginia, in the spring of 1762.  His son Henry, the father of Mrs. Nancy Swearingen, was born Oct. 16, 1753.  He was a captain in the Revolutionary war; was taken prisoner at Fort Washington, and confined on Long Island for four years.   In 1796 he located the tract of land in Jackson township, Pickaway county, known as the Bedinger survey, the most of which is now owned by Henry B. Swearingen.  Henry Bedinger was a man of good native ability, great energy and force of character, and was prominent in the community in which he lived.
     In 1814, being then quartermaster-general and a staff officer, James S. Swearingen made his headquarters at Chillicothe, where he remained on duty until the close of the war, when he made a settlement and resided there the remainder of his life.  He received, soon after his marriage, from his father-in-law, the Bedinger tract in Jackson township, Pickaway County, Ohio, but he never settled upon it.  He died in Chillicothe, Feb. 3, 1864, and his wife Jan. 11, 1869.  They were parents of seven children, three of whom died young.  The others were Henry B., Eleanor, Sarah B., and Virginia, who died unmarried, at the age of twenty-one.  Eleanor was married first to Dr. John H. Grant, of Covington, Kentucky, and after his death to Major Edward Clarkson, of the same place.  She died Jan. 20, 1879, in Jackson township.  Sarah B. became the wife of N. W. Thatcher, of Chillicothe, now deceased.  Mrs. Thatcher occupies the old home in Chillicothe.
     Henry B. Swearingen was born in Chillicothe, Nov. 16, 1814.  He came to Pickaway county in 1837, and settled where he now lives, in Jackson township, in December, 1851.  He was married, Jan. 2, 1850 to Elizabeth Nesbitt, of Xenia, who was born June 3, 1827.  To them have been born eight children- Eleanor V., born Mar. 26, 1854; James S., born Aug. 19, 1857; Nancy N., born Dec. 22, 1858; Robert N., born Feb. 22, 1861 (died Oct. 27, 1865); John G., born Feb. 24, 1863; Henry B., born May 26, 1865; Thomas T., was born Jan. 15, 1868; and Mary S., was born Mar. 9, 1871.
     The Bedinger survey - the most of which is now owned by Henry B. Swearingen - has never been bought nor sold.  It was located by Captain Bedinger in 1796, in consideration of his services in the Revolution.  He subsequently gave it to his son-in-law, James S. Swearingen, from whom it was inherited by the latter's son, Henry B., and daughter Eleanor, now deceased.  Henry B. Swearingen now occupies the homestead.
     One of the most attractive illustrations in this work is that of the residence of Mr. Swearingen and its surroundings.  The house, embowered in forest-trees, stands on a beautiful swell of ground, and looking eastward, commands a fine view of picturesque scenery for many miles.

 

 


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