SWINK

Contributed by: William Brackett
brackettwilliam@yahoo.com

Moses Swink was born about the year 1800 probably in Pennsylvania. The obituary for his daughter indicates he came to Michigan in 1846. He settled in what is now Bertrand Township of Berrien County, Michigan. This area became known as Portage Prairie. He had married Elizabeth Riley in Pennsylvania. Moses Swink died in 1850 and is buried in the Dunkard Cemetery, which is known today as the Portage Prairie Cemetery in German Township of St. Joseph, County, Indiana. This cemetery was known as the Dunkard cemetery as it was associated with a Brethren Church located at the corner of Orange and Adams Roads. This church is now the Carriage House restaurant. The cemetery is about three tenths of a mile west of the old church on Adams Road. There is also a Portage Prairie Cemetery associated with a Methodist church, which is in Bertrand Township, Michigan just north on Orange Road. Moses and Elizabeth (Riley) Swink had children:

  1. Euphama Swink b. 07 Jan 1847 in Pennsylvania d. 07 Nov 1847

  2. Catherine J. Swink b. 1840 in Pennsylvania d. 1920 who married William G. Hathaway

  3. Caroline Swink b. Jan 1842 in Pennsylvania who married Henry Lichtenberger and lived near Bremen, Indiana

  4. Elizabeth Ann Swink b. 03 Jun 1843 in Pennsylvania d. 02 Jul 1903 who never married

  5. Eunice Swink b. 26 Jun 1845 in Pennsylvania d. 08 Mar 1913 who married Peter Rhoades

  6. George R. Swink b. 07 Jun 1849 d. 06 Aug 1916 who married Caroline Quick

Elizabeth (Riley) Swink/Abbiel died at the age of 71 years 8 months 9 days. She married 1st Moses Swink and 2nd Frederick Abbiel. They are seen in the 1860 census of Bertrand Township of Berrien County as Fred and Elizabeth Abel. Her name is on same marker as Moses Swink "his wife Elizabeth Abbiel". A death notice was carried in the Buchanan Record on 05 Aug 1886 and it reads: "Died-Thursday July 29, at her home in Bertrand, Mrs. Elizabeth Abeal, aged 71 years 8 monhts and 8 days." Both her daughters, Eunice Rhoades and Elizabeth Swink and her son George give their mother's maiden name as "Riley" and their father as Moses Swink on their death records.

Euphama Swink died at the age of 10 months and 1 day on 07 Nov 1847. Her name is on the same grave marker as Moses Swink and Elizabeth Abbiel in the Dunkard Cemetery.

Catherine Swink married William G. Hathaway. The 1870 census of Bertrand Township, Berrien County, Michigan includes this couple:

William G. Hathaway, 31 years of age, a farmer, born in NY

Catherine Hathaway, 30 years of age born in PA

Mary J. Hathaway, 6 years of age born in MI

George H. Hathaway, 4 years of age born in MI

Walter E. Hathaway, 2 years of age born in MI

Hattie M. Hathaway, 6 months old born in MI

Betsy A. Swink, 22 years of age, Domestic Servant, born in PA

William and Catherine (Swink) Hathaway are buried in the Oak Rodge Cemetery in Buchanan, Michigan.

Caroline Swink married Henry Lichtenberger b. Sep 1842 and lived in German Township near Bremen, Marshall County, Indiana. The 1880 census of Bremen, IN includes this couple:

Henry Lichtenberger, 36 years of age, farmer, born in IN

Carrie Lichtenberger, 35 years of age, born in PA

Floyd A. Lichtenberger, 4 years of age, born in MI

They had the one son: Floyd Lichtenberger b. Mar 1876

An obituary for Elizabeth Ann Swink was carried in the Buchanan Record on 07 Jul 1903 and it reads: "Elizabeth Ann Swink Was born in Tunkhannock, Wyoming Co. Penn., June 3, 1843 and died at the home of her brother Geo. R. Swink July 2 1903, age 60 years and 29 days. She came with her parents to Berrien Co. Mich. when three years of age. She joined the Baptist church at Niles about 38 years ago; in after years there being no Baptist church that she could attend she united with the United Brethren at Buchanan seven years ago. She is surviced by three sisters and one brother, Mrs. Wm. Hathaway, Mrs. Eunice Rhodes, George R. Swink, of this place, and Mrs. Caroline Listenberger of Bremen, Ind." Elizabeth Ann Swink was a teacher and taught in old District # 9 on Chicago Road in Bertrand Township, Berrien County, Michigan. She was also the first teacher at the new Pollywog School when it was built in 1869. Elizabeth was the daughter of Moses and Elizabeth (Riley) Swink. Elizabeth had a brother, George Swink who married Caroline Quick and three sisters, Eunice Swink who married Peter Rhoades, Catherine Swink who married William G. Hathaway and Carrie Swink who married Henry Lichtenbarger and who lived in Bremen, Indiana. Elizabeth never married. Alma Hartline wrote "The Story of Portage Prairie". On page 198 she has a section on the Howard Rhoades Home. In this section she indicates that this property was owned by the Calhoun family in 1860. She also mentions that Moses Swink and his wife, Elizabeth had three daughters and one of them, Eunice, married Peter Rhoades. Alma states that "Some time before 1873, Frederick Ahbeal bought the Calhoun land". This is the Frederick Ahbeal who married Elizabeth (Riley) Swink after Moses Swink died in 1850. She indicates that Frederick Ahbeal was from Switzerland and spoke no English. Alma says her "grandfather's Diary carries the following item. ‘Frederick Ahbeal's place will be sold to the highest bidder on Dec. 27, 1889'. They lived there for more than fifteen years. Old Freddy served on the Pollywog School board and signed his name in German in 1877 and 1880". In the 1860 census records you can find Fred and Elizabeth "Abel" with Elizabeth and George Swink living in their household. Alma goes on to say that Howard Rhoades was a son of Peter and Eunice (Swink) Rhoades and that Howard bought this property. She says that, "His mother's sister, Betty Swink, kept house for him for a time. This "Betty" is a reference to Elizabeth Swink.

On 02 Jan 1862 Eunice Swink married Peter "Roads" in Bertrand Township. Rev. Michael Alsbuck performed the ceremony. Eunice Swink was born on 26 Jun 1845. Their witnesses were Bill and John Rough. Eunice had a brother, George Swink and three sisters, Elizabeth A. Swink, Kate Swink and Carrie Swink. George Swink married Caroline Quick. Elizabeth Ann Swink never married. Catherine Swink married William G. Hathaway and Caroline Swink married Henry Lichtenbarger. Elizabeth, Kate and Caroline were teachers. Caroline and Henry Lichtenbarger lived most of their lives in Bremen, Indiana. These Swink children were the sons and daughters of Moses and Elizabeth (Riley) Swink. Peter Rhoades was the son of John Rhoades of Snyder County, Pennsylvania. Peter and Eunice (Swink) Rhoades had children:

George Rhoades b. 11 May 1863 d. 02 Sep 1924 who married Clara Fierick
John Ward Rhoades b. 12 Aug 1865 d. 1932 who married Gertrude Stoddard
Howard Rhoades b. 1866 d. 1950 who married Mrs. Emma Miller and lived in California
Flora Della Rhoades b. 1868 d, 1925 who married Jacob Bennitt
Agnes Rhoades b. 1870 d. 1887
Jacob Rhoades b. 1872 d. 1957 who married Julia Dragoo

Peter Rhoades died on 10 Jul 1908 and Eunice died on 08 Mar 1913 and according to Alma Hartline they were buried in the Dunkard Cemetery.


George R. Swink married on 01 Apr 1878 Caroline Quick in Buchanan Township. The witnesses were Andrew C. & Betsy A. Day. Caroline was the daughter of John and Catherine Quick of Berrien County. George’s death record gives his father's name as Moses and his mother as "Elizabeth Riley". George and Carrie Swink had one son, Frank Swink who was born in May of 1881.
 An obituary for Caroline Swink was carried in the Buchanan Record on 06 Jun 1901 and it reads: "Mrs. Carrie Swink Miss Carrie Quick was born in Berrien Co. Mich. August 6, 1846, and died at her home in Niles township, May 31, 1901, aged 51 years, 9 months, and 25 days. She was married to Mr. George Swink April 4, 1878, at the home of Andrew C. Day, in Buchanan. Her life was devoted to make her home a pleasant place. She leaves a husband, son, two sisters, and three brothers.
‘Sister Carrie thou hast left us
And the loss we deeply feel,
And if God has thus bereft us
He will all our sorrows heal'
The funeral services were held Sunday at ten o'clock, at their home, conducted by Rev. J. F. Bartmess, and was largely attended by a host of sympathizing friends; after which the remains were taken to the Dunkard cemetery, in St. Joe county, Ind." They had one son: Frank Swink.

By William Brackett 02 Jun 2009

brackettwilliam@yahoo.com

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