SWAIN Family: Oswestry to Shrewsbury area

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Tony Harrison
Last seen: 5 weeks 21 hours ago
Joined: Monday, 13-04-2020

Hello - I'm new here, and far less experienced in family research than most, I dare say. I've been looking into my family's background intermittently, and as I get older (70 now) I feel more urgently inclined! I attended school in Shropshire but never lived there in adulthood: I've resided in Devon more than half my life. However, my parents (mother, 92, hale & hearty) grew up in and around Malpas, Cheshire; my maternal grandfather was a (half Welsh) Shropshire lad - and I've been unable to find out as much about his line as I know about his wife's Gibbons family from Cheshire/Lancs. Hoping for some tips...

Grandad Louis SWAIN was born (best of my knowledge) 25th June 1889, records say at Uffington; but my eye was caught by this Society's holding its monthly meetings at Cross Houses, since his WW1 military record (most of which I have) gives his place of birth (presumably as reported by him on enlistment, 31st August 1914, at Chester) as "Crosshuse" - which must be Cross Houses, in exactly the area where he was born and lived his early life. He was baptised at Berrington, 28 July 1889; the censuses of 1891, 1901 and 1911 show his residence being Berrington, Upton Magna, Berrington. He married in January 1914 at Whitchurch and thenceforth resided at Hampton near Malpas, dying in 1972 at Winsford.

I have a lovely formal portrait photograph of Louis SWAIN, taken I estimate around 1908-1910, showing him with his seven siblings David Hugh, Charles, Archibald, Thomas, William, John E, and Esther - not in that age order. Their parents were William SWAIN(born 1861 in Maesbury, Oswestry, date of death unknown) and Eleanor (spelt differently in various sources...) LEWIS of Meifod, near Welshpool (born 1856, died 1926 at Upton Magna).

I know of SWAINs living today in exactly that area, immediately south and east of Shrewsbury; I've been in touch with a couple, but failed to get anywhere. My mother spoke to some SWAINs at Shawbury, where my great-uncle Thomas SWAIN apparently lived, but they knew (or wanted to know) nothing. Great uncle Archibald is said to have run a coal business from a spot on the railway line near Shrewsbury called Swain's Field; his youngest sibling Charles lived at Condover, if mum's memories are accurate.

My records, compiled largely thanks to the kindness of a Canadian couple (one of whom is a third cousin I didn't know existed!), show the names and birth dates of William & Eleanor's own parents, but that's all I have. If anyone can suggest how I might best discover more, or if someone knows Swains to whom I might be related, I'd be very glad to hear about it.

Best wishes to all - Tony