Swanström

The Svanströms were soldiers, crofters and tailors in and around Gärdserum and Ukna in the county of Kalmar in Småland, Sweden. The earliest known ancestor of the family is Petter Jönsson Cavat, an infantry soldier who was taken prisoner by the Prussians at the Battle of Demmin and never returned to Sweden. He was probably … Read more

Hindu Lore

In India swans appear both as the hamsa and as apsaras. Brahma’s consort Saraswati, goddess of wisdom, learning, and music, is also depicted riding on a swan (hamsa), as is Varuna, god of the sky and rain. The Hamsa In Hindu lore, the hamsa (a pair of divine birds) can be either swans or geese. The two … Read more

Brigham’s Destroying Angel

Excerpts from William Hickman, Brigham’s Destroying Angel (1904).  CHAPTER II. HICKMAN’S NARRATIVE BIRTH AND EARLY LIFE-FIRST DEED OF DARING-KILLING THE PANTHER-EDUCATION-MARRIAGE-JOINS THE MORMONS-ACQUAINTANCE WITH JOSEPH SMITH -THE TROUBLES AT NAUVOO-HICKMAN IN PRISON- INGENIOUS ESCAPE-FIRST ACT OF VIOLENCE UNDER THE RULE OF BRIGHAM YOUNG-KILLING THE COUNTERFEITER-SHOOTING THE INDIANS-FLIGHT OF HICKMAN-ADVENTURES ON THE PLAINS-ARRIVAL AT SALT LAKE. In the … Read more

Lazarite Connection

A Conrad Hauri or Conrad Horn (Chuondradus dictus Hornus), a Knight of the Order of Saint Lazarus, lived at the order’s house at Gfenn in Dübendorf, now a suburb of Zürich. He was named in a charter dated 13 April 1272, when the order sold the church at Meiringen in the Bernese Oberland to Kloster … Read more

Kenney

The Kenneys are a Scotch-Irish family. They came to America in the early 1700s, settled first in Pennsylvania, then moved south to Virginia before moving west. Capt. James and Margaret (Frame) Kenney were early settlers at Daniel Boone’s settlement in Boonesborough, Kentucky. The Kenney farm, Stonerside Farm in Bourbon County, is still an operating horse farm of … Read more

Dutton

John Dutton (1792-1863) came from Oswego County, New York to Will County, Illinois about 1834. He married Sarah Abbott (1798-1861), daughter of Joseph and Chloe Jane (Blackman) Abbott. John’s ancestry in unknown, but he appears to have been a descendant of the John Dutton who settled at Boston in 1630. He might have been a … Read more

Swan Etymology

The word swan has descended unchanged from the Old Saxon word swan or suan. The Old English and Middle English forms were also swan. The Old Saxon form derived from the proto-Germanic *swanaz. The Old High German forms were swan, swan(a) and swon, the Old Norse form was svanr, and the Middle Dutch form was … Read more

Swanimotes

One of the medieval courts in England was called a swanimote. It was held to try offenses against vert and venison, that is, against the vegetation and game of the forest. The court also heard grievances against officers of the forest. In England, a forest was an area set aside as a hunting monopoly. It … Read more

Greco-Roman Lore

Leda and the Swan, by Kotsonis The swan was a recurring motif in Greek and Roman mythology, generally as a bird associated with the sun. Each Greek tribe had its own favorite myths, and additional stories were being constantly imported into religion from foreign sources. The swan was the bird of the Muses. It was … Read more

Swedish Priests’ Names

Scandinavians didn’t use hereditary surnames in most cases until about 1900. Their customs would surprise many Americans. The following information was adapted from a posting to the Norrbotten mailing list by Gwen Boyer Björkman. Before the Protestant Reformation, a clergyman used only his given name preceded by Herr (Sir). Thus Herr Johannes, Herr Mikael, Herr … Read more