The Swains of Nantucket

From the early eighteenth down into the nineteenth century the Meaders and Swains have married each other.

Richard Swain, born in England in 1600 and died on Nantucket April 14, 1682, sailed from London September 17, 1635 on the Good Ship Truelove. Soon after landing in Plymouth Colony he sent for his wife Elizabeth, his sons William, John and Francis, and his daughter Elizabeth, who came on separate ships, the Rebecca and the Susan and Ellen, but all in the care of friends who had already suffered for religious deviation and who, like the Swains, were free-thinkers leaning toward the Quaker conviction even before they left their English homeland.

Elizabeth Swain, his wife, died shortly after landing. Richard Swain then married Jane Godfrey Bunker, widow of George Bunker of Ipswich, Mass., with, a family of young children. They apparently lived in Hampton, N.H. for a while, perhaps after finding the climate of Boston not charitable to Friends. They went to Nantucket in 1658, taking both sets of children. Richard Swain and his son John were two of the original nine purchasers and "proprietors" of Nantucket Island.

John Swain, the son of Richard, was born in England in 1633. On October 31, 1652 he married Mary Wyer, daughter of Nathaniel and Sarah Wyer of Charlestown, Mary Wyer Swain died on Nantucket in 1714 John Swain in 1715.

The daughter of John Swain and Mary Wyer, Mary Swain, married Joseph Nason.

Charity Nason, the daughter of Mary Swain and Joseph Nason, married Joseph Meader [0005].

Robert Wyer, son of Nathaniel and Sarah Wyer of Charlestown, married Catherine Swain, the daughter of John Swain, Jr. John Swain, Jr. married Experience Folger, sister of Benjamin Franklin's mother Abiah Folger.

The daughter of Robert Wyer and Catherine Swain, Ruth Wyer, married Nicholas Meader [0013].