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My Dutch Ancestry

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Descendants of Harmen Coerton of Voorhuysen

Descendants of Hendrick Matthyse Smock

Genealogy research is a passion, I suppose.  An addictive passion.

There are  many nationalities coursing through my veins and I track one or another – often quite surprised with the results.

My 4th great-grandfather William Poland was of German lineage. He married Mary Swadley, daughter of Nicholas Swadley and Elizabeth Hevener.  The Swadley family lived in Rockbridge County, Virginia and Pendleton County, West Virginia before moving to Highland County, Ohio.

In William Poland’s will, he names twelve children. Those not mentioned are: Peter, Phebe and Elizabeth.

Eliza McBee could be Elizabeth.

Marion County Will Book C, pages 45-46

‘My sons & daughters intended & spoken of in this will are John, William, Nicholas, Katharine Newman, Nathaniel, Mary Evans, Eliza Magbee, Samuel, Henry, Mahala Stamin and Martin.  Matilda Troth in addition to what she has already received to have the sum of five dollars.’

PROPERTY:  Public Sale of the Real Estate of William Poland; Indianapolis January 26, 1856.  About 220 acres in Marion County.


Nicholas Swadley was the son of Marcus (Mark) Swadley and Catren (surname perhaps Maus).

There is a tradition that Mark accidentally shot a daughter while cleaning a gun and was so shocked that he is said to have never spoken again and died shortly thereafter.

Marcus (Mark) Swadley’s personal property was sold at public venue  September 15, 1772 [Augusta,Virginia  Will Book #6, page 10].

Final settlement of the estate was made March 18, 1772 [Augusta, Virginia  Will Book #6, page 10]
Mark’s wife’s name was Catren; there is a tradition that her last name was Maus (Mouse).  She may have later married John Clore, a widower.  They had no children and she outlived him.


what if?

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If I could have seen the future, would my decisions have been different?

Would the decisions of my parents, grandparents, ancestors?

If my dad had not worked for New Mexico newspapers . . .

– would we have moved to Farmington, New Mexico during the 1950s oil and gas boom?

If there had not been an oil and gas boom in the Four Corners area

– would my husband – my then-future-husband have traveled from Louisiana to ‘make his  fortune’ (hah!)?

If my Jouett French Huguenot ancestors had been Catholic, would I be speaking French and living in France?

In a different body – with a similar soul?

If my Welsh Coslett ancestors had not sailed from Wales to the colonies, would I have known the actor Richard Burton before he was Richard Burton?

If my Glenn ancestor had not been kicked out of Ireland  (to Scotland . . . and then  Britain) for fighting over a barmaid – and then deported from Britain for fighting (just about everyone), would I have red hair and dance Irish jigs??

If my Scottish Foreman ancestor had not traded with the Indians, would he have not married two Cherokee women (both of the Paint Clan) and instead settled in Pennsylvania with his sister and family – would I then be a Yankee??

What if . . . my German ancestor, John Poland, had stayed in Germany?

What if . . . my ancestor, Marcus Swadley, had never left Germany with his wife Catherine Maus, and settled in West Virginia – his descendants scattering throughout the country?

What if my ancestor Nichodemas Keith had died in the Revolutionary War?

What if Richard Borden and Joanne Fowle had stayed in Headcorn, County, Kent, England?  What if Richard’s ancestors had stayed in Normandy?

What if?????

And where and who would I be?

If my Soldier Husband had gone back to Louisiana after his tour of service – rather than Farmington, New Mexico – would we have never married?  Never had the children we have?  The grandchildren we have?

Actually, I can’t imagine any other life than the one I now have and I am so grateful for every moment of it.  I’m especially grateful for my family – and these delightful beautiful grandchildren.

cousins - three years of age - Seguin, Texas - 1999

Recently, I’ve looked through some of the Grandchildren Photos and I’m thinking about  the decisions made by my forebears and my parents and my husband and me – and for the meandering roads all of us traveled that brought these special, lovely, delightful grandchildren  to my husband and me.

Two of these grandchildren had a fourteenth birthday a few weeks ago (a boy in Colorado and a girl in New York – born five days apart in 1996).

I remember the ‘older’ generation talking about how quickly kids grow up and how time seems to gather momentum the older we become.  I am now the ‘older’ generation and that is exactly how I feel.

The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order, a timetable not necessarily–perhaps not possibly–chronological. ~ Eudora Welty