Grandma Swezey, Ruth & Paul
IDENTIFICATION ON PHOTO: "Grandma Swezey, Ruth Swezey, Paul Swezey, 1905"
PHOTO TAKEN: E William Spurr Studio, Decorah, Iowa, 1905
PURCHASED: 2016 Hollywood Antiques, Eugene Oregon
This is Bertha M Ranney-Swezey (born 1867 to parents Harmon Ranney and Julia Ann Cook). She was married to Dr. Andrew Jackson Swezey (born 1869 to parents Samuel George Swezey and Nancy Ann Burnett). Her two children are Ruth Ellena Swezey and Paul Howard Swezey.
My first stop in searching for this family is the 1900 Federal Census of Decorah, Winneshiek County, Iowa. The Swezeys are found living at 404 W. Main Street at a boarding house operated by a Norwegian immigrant family named Wulfsborg.
1900 Federal Census > Iowa > Winneshiek > Decorah
WULFSBORG, Einar, head, Dec 1841, 58, born in Norway, mgr Public House
WULFSBORG, Christiana, wife, Mar 1841, 59, born in Norway
WULFSBORG, Sira C., daughter, Mar 1876, 24, born in MN of Norwegian parents
WULFSBORG, Clara H., daughter, Jun 1877, 22, born in MN, clerk at bookstore
WULFSBORG, Frida M., daughter, Jan 1881, 19, born in MN
WULFSBORG, Einar, son, Feb 1882, 18, born in MN, at college
WULFSBORG, Jacob, son, Jun 1884, 15, born in Iowa, at college
CHRISTOPHSEN, Annie, servant, Mar 1864, 34, born in WI of Norwegian parents, servant
SWEEZY, Andrew J., head, Dec 1863, 36, born in NE of Iowa parents, physician
SWEEZY, Bertha M., wife, Apr 1867, 33, born in MO of NY parents (2 births, 2 living)
SWEEZY, Ruth E., daughter, Mar 1897, 3, born in Iowa
SWEEZY, Paul H., son, Feb 1899, 1, born in Iowa
STEPHENSON, Sophia, servant, Mar 1883, 17, born in Iowa of Norwegian parents, servant
EASTON, James H., lodger, Nov 1833, 66, born in NY, capitalist
By the 1910 Census, the family has their own home at 113 Water Street.
Ruth's birth certificate shows her official name as: Ruth Ellena SWEZEY, born 27 Mar 1897 to parents Andrew Jackson Swezey and Bertha M. Ranney.
1920 Federal Census > West Virginia > Cabell > Huntington
SWEZEY, Dr. A.J., head, 50, born in Iowa of OH & IA parents, Physician
SWEZEY, Bertha, wife, 52, born in MO of NY parents
SWEZEY, Ruth, daughter, 22, born in Iowa, physical director YMCA
SWEZEY, Paul, son, 20, born in Iowa, student at school
Father Dr. Andrew Jackson Swezey died 16-Oct-1924 in Huntington WV.
1930 Federal Census > Pennsylvania > York > York
SWEZEY, Bertha M., head, 63 widowed, no occupation
SWEZEY, Ruth E, daughter, 33, single, recreation director
This story was found in the Wilkes-Barre Record, August 27, 1937.
1940 Federal Census > Pennsylvania > Luzerne > Kingston
SWEZEY, Bertha M., head, 73, wd, no occ.
SWEZEY, Ruth E., 43, single, athletic director community welfare
BENNETT, Helen K., ward, 18, single, born in NJ, not employed
Bertha died in 1943, in Forty Fort, Pennsylvania but is buried in Huntington WV next to her husband.
Ruth retired in 1959 and was was feted by the Parks and Recreation Association in Wilkes-Barre PA.
Ruth apparently never married, and died in 1972. She is buried in the family plot in Huntington WV.
As she had no children of her own, I will have to turn to her brother Paul if I am to find descendants of this family.
Paul followed in his father's footsteps and became a doctor, specifically an osteopath. He served in WWI.
He married Helen Marguerite Gerken (dau of John Gerken) 24 Aug 1921 in Marietta Ohio, where Paul was attending college. The couple moved to Des Moines for a short time while Paul attended a Medical School of Osteopathy.
Paul's descendants are:
- John Swezey (born abt 1923) m. Shirley Mae Peters
- Barbara Ann Swezey (1953-1987) m. Raymond Neil Allen. Lived in Eugene OR. She died age 33. No children.- David C. Swezey (-) lived in Portland OR area.
- Mary E. Swezey (born abt 1928) m. Richard Stephan and lived in Clemente, California.
Paul died 23 Oct 1981 Massillon Ohio.
Son John A. Swezey went to Anapolis Naval Academy, per this newspaper insert of 25 Feb 1940.
He married Shirley Peters and lived in Eugene Oregon (where this 1905 photograph was found). Shirley died in 2012, and John died in 2013.
As I acquired the photograph in 2016, I can presume that it was in the possession of John Swezey up to the time of his death, and is most likely his hand which wrote the information on the reverse side.