An American Family History

Swope Families

  also spelled Swoope  

Peter Swope was born about 1763.

He married Elizabeth Snyder.

Mary Swope (1788)
Sarah Swope (1790)
Henry Swope (1793)
Samuel Swope (1796)
Peter Swope, Jr (1799, married Patty Vandevender)
Elizabeth Swope (1801)
Joseph Swope (1803)
William Swope ((1804)
Elizabeth Swope (1807)

Peter settled 1791 Huntingdon Township, Pennsylvania.


from History of the Swope Family and Their Connections, 1678-1896 edited by Gilbert Ernest Swope

There are two Swope families living in Huntingdon county, Pa., one spelling their name with two o's and the other with one. The ancestors of both families settled in that county in the last decade of the eighteenth century. The Swopes lived at Mapleton in 1782; in that year Michael Swope was born there, and afterwards moved to the vicinity of Dayton, O., where his descendants are still living. Michael had two other brothers; their descendants are still living in or about Mapleton.

The Swoope family of Huntingdon descended from Peter Swoope, who was a son of John Jacob Swoope, of Hellam township, York county, Pa. Peter was born April 1, 1763; died June 30, 1839. He was apprenticed to the hatting business, Aug. 17, 1773. He afterwards removed to Hagerstown, Md., where he married, July 5, 1784, Elizabeth Snyder, born Dec. 22, 1768; died July 21, 1851. He subsequently settled in Huntingdon, where his children, ten in number, were born. There he engaged in merchandising and the iron business, and accumulated a nice fortune. He was commissioned captain of the Huntingdon county militia by Governor Mifflin, Aug. 31, 1793. His children were:

i. John Swoope, b. July 21, 1786.
ii. Mary Swoope, b. Aug. 30, 1788.
iii. Sarah Swoope, b. June 21, 1790.
iv. Henry Swoope, b. Nov. 18, 1793.
v. Samuel Swoope, b. March 25, 1796.
vi. Peter Swoope, b. Jan. 7, 1799.
vii. Elizabeth Swoope, b. March 23, 1801.
viii. Joseph Swoope, b. March 23, 1803.

Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania was established on September 20, 1787 as a large region of Central Pennsylvania. It was previously part of Bedford County and the earlier Cumberland Region.

Lawrence Swope (1742-1794) and Ann (1746-1799) were born in Germany.

He is probably the Lawrence Swope who served in Jonathan Hager's company in the Frederick County, Maryland militia during the French and Indian War.

The family settled in Trough Creek Valley, Union Township, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania which was Bedford County, Dublin Township. They were there by 1773.

Catherine Swope (1767),
Elizabeth Swope (1769, married John Keyes),
Mary Swope (1770),
David Swope (1771, married Mary Cole),
John Swope (1773, married Temperance Stephens/Stevens),
Mary Swope (1773, married John Saylor),
Lawrence Swope, Jr. (1775, married Sarah Greenland),
Susannah Swope (1777, married Isaac Smart), and
Rachel Swope (1779).

Lawrence and Ann Swope died in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. Lawrence is buried in Sheridan School House Cemetery, Trough Creek Valley.


The French and Indian War lasted from 1754 to 1763 and was the North American phase of the Seven Years' War.

American pioneers migrated west to settle areas not previously inhabited by European Americans.

David Swope was born about 1771.

He married Mary Cole.

David and Mary's children included:

Thomas Swope (1800, married Rebecca LaFevre),
Rachel Swope (1808, married John Lefever)
David Swope (1813-1837),
Mary Swope (1812, married Charles Myers),
Elizabeth Swope (1810) and
Louisa Swope (1809, married Charles Compton).

At first they lived in Huntingdon County, Pennyslvania, but moved to Fairfield County, Ohio in 1801.

David died in 1826 and Mary in 1857.

Fairfield County, Ohio



American pioneers migrated west to settle areas not previously inhabited by European Americans.

From History of Fairfield County, Ohio and Representative Citizens edited and  compiled by Charles C. Miller, Ph.D,

David Swope  was born March 4, 1771 and was the owner of a farm in Huntingdon County, PA., three and one-half miles distant from that of his wife's father, Thomas Cole, the mountain  lying between them. The records of Huntingdon County show the sale of the Cole farm  on May 12, 1801, and that of David Swope on May 16, 1801.

After disposing of their  farms, they, with their respective families, moved, in May or June of that year, to Fairfield County, O. There, in the dense forest, they cleared land and built cabins, and, with their neighbors endured the privations and hardships of pioneer life. A convenient cabin was built by David Swope, with one window, a door hung on wooden hinges fastened with wooden latch on the inside and opened on the outside by means of a string that was  tied to the latch and put through a gimlet hole in the door. The Indians regarded those who left the latchstring of their cabin doors outside as friendly, but those who took in the string were objects of suspicion.

David Swope set out an apple orchard and other fruits and early built a two-story, hewed log house, which contained two rooms below  and two above. Two porches graced the building, one on the south and one on the north  side. He also built a hewed long house with a threshing-floor between two commodious  mows, wheat in those days being threshed by the trampling of horses upon it.

David Swope, by thrift and industry, accumulated sufficient to give each of his children  a property. The home farm at his death, August 9, 1826, went to his youngest son,  David Swope, who, not inclining to farm life sold it later to his brother, Thomas Swope. 

The wife of David Swope Sr., was born June 3, 1779, and survived her husband many  years, dying February 20, 1857.


Settlers often built log cabins as their first homes.

An early American tavern (or ordinary) was an important meeting place and they were strictly supervised. Innkeepers were respectable members of the community. Taverns offered food and drink. An inn also offered accommodation.

Memoir of David Swope and Descendents
written by his granddaughter Margaret Swope
A.D. 1909 taken from Miller Family Reunion website 

David Swope, with his wife, Mary Cole Swope, emigrated from Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, in the month of May or June, 1801, in company with his father-in-law, Thomas Cole, to Fairfield County, Ohio.  In the dense forest that then covered the lands they undaunted began to make a home. They cleared the land and built cabins and with their neighbors endured the privations and hardships of pioneer life. Roads in those days were principally paths or trails marked by blazed trees along the route. A convenient cabin was built with one window, a door hung on wooden hinges fastened with a wooden latch on the inside and opened outside by means of a string tied to the latch and put through a gimlet hole in the door. To lock the door all that was necessary was to pull the string inside. The Indians regarded those who left the latch string of their cabin doors outside as friendly, but those who took in the string were objects of suspicion.

Grandfather Swope, after clearing the land, set out an orchard of apple and other fruits and early built a two story hewed log house, which contained two rooms below and two above. The attic being furnished with a floor. Each room was lighted by a separate window. Two porches graced this pioneer building, one on the South side and one on the North, with a pantry on the west end. He also built a barn of hewed logs with a threshing floor between two commodious mows. Wheat they tramped out with horses. After raking straw off, to separate wheat from chaff, a sheet was used by two persons on windy days. 

A condition of the wheat caused them some annoyance in those days. It was called wick wheat. Bread made from it invariably sickened those who ate it. In appearance it was all right but when the hogs refused to eat it, it was condemned. Father was sick three days. His mother sent him and a little sister to his grandfather Cole for corn meal. His grandfather, noticing his condition, had some bread offered him which he could not eat. So meal was supplied. My memory of Great Grandfather [Thomas] Cole is that he was a small man. At meals he always sat at or near the head of the table with the sugar bowl handy with which little visitors were kindly remembered...

The homes of Great Grandfather Cole and Grandfather Swope in Pennsylvania were on opposite sides of a mountain. From the top of the mountain to either home it was three and one-half miles (3-1/2). Grandmother used to walk that distance in the morning and return in the evening carrying her baby. At one time Grandmother Swope’s Aunt was lost for three days. When found she was too weak to attract the searching party when but a short distance from them. She had been given up to die when she was luckily discovered. . .

Grandfather Swope died in 1826. He had by thrift and industry accumulated sufficient to give each of his children a home. The home farm situated in Amanda Township, Fairfield County, Ohio, went to the youngest son, David Swope, who not inclining to farm life offered the farm for sale.The farm was bought by father (Thomas Swope) about the year 18__, and he spent the remainder of his life there.


A spinning wheel is a device for making thread or yarn. and was an essential part of Early American life. An unmarried woman would often take on the important job of spinning for the household, thus the term "spinster."
Pewter is an alloy composed mainly of tin, but can include lead. It was used for dishes and utensils. Some colonists suffered lead poisoning from using it. It dents easily and lasted about ten years. It was expensive and wooden dishes were used most often.
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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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