Name: Robert "The Elder" SWETT
Birth: 1600 in Wymondham, County Norfolk, ENGLAND
Death: BET 1640 AND 1700 in Elizabeth City, Virginia Colony (now USA)
Immigration: 1618 Came to America on the ship "Neptune"
Immigration: 1638 Arrived in Virginia USA aboard the ship "Guiding Star" by Lt. Robert Sheppard (paid his voyage and was his employer).
Source Foley, Louise Pledge Heath, "Early Virginia Families Along the James River: James City County-Surry County" (Genealogical Publishing Company reprint 1990), p. 21
Source Free African's: http://www.freeafricanamericans.com/Stringer-Talbot.htm
Source McIlwaine, Journals of the House of Burgesses, I:ix, 51
Source Virginia Council and General Court Records 1640-1641, in "Virginia Magazine of History" Vol. II, p. 281
Note Had children with negro woman that was a servant not a slave. Negro woman also worked for Lt. Robert Sheppard.
Note My biological maternal 8th great grandparents.
Occupation: 1640 Virginia House of Burgesses
Occupation: 1640 Gentleman
Reference Number: IND14340
Various Spellings: Swait, Sweat, Sweatt, Sweet, Sweett, Sweit, Swet, Swet e, Swett, Switt
First found in Somerset where they held a family seat from very ancient ti mes, some say before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 A.D.
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants wer e: Robert Sweet who settled in Virginia in 1623; George settled there in 1 653; Thomas Sweet settled in Boston Mass. in 1633; William Sweet settl ed in Virginia in 1654.
Crest: Description not available
Coat of Arms: Red with two chevrons between two stars at the top and a ro se in base.
Robert Swett [born about 1623 in England] arrived in Virginia in 1638 aboa rd the ship "Guiding Star". [Foley, Louise Pledge Heath, "Early Virginia F amilies Along the James River: James City County-Surry County" (Genealogic al Publishing Company reprint 1990), p. 21, Passenger List of the Guidi ng Star]
Robert Swett, 1638, by Lt. Robert Sheppard, James City Co. The name follow ing the "by" is the patentee or party who paid for his transportation to V irginia. [Greer, George Cabell, "Early Virginia Immigrants 1623-1666" (191 2, Genealogical Publishing Company reprint 1989), p. 318.]
Leift. Robert Sheppard due 650 acres of land in James City Co., 26 July 16 38, for transporting 13 persons ... the list includes Robert Swett. [Nugen t, Nell Marion, "Cavaliers & Pioneers, Abstracts of Virginia Land Paten ts and Grants 1623-1666" (1934, Genealogical Publishing Company reprint 19 69), p. 94] The land granted to Robert Sheppard at this time was on the so uth bank of the James River at Chippokes Creek. [Nugent, p. 584] A mode rn Virginia highway map shows Chippokes Plantation State Park on the sou th bank, directly across the river south of Jamestown.
17 October 1640: James City Court: "Whereas Robert Sweat hath begotten wi th child a negro woman servant belonging unto Lieutenant Sheppard, the cou rt hath therefore ordered that the said negro woman shall be whipt at t he whipping post and the said Sweat shall tomorrow in the forenoon do publ ic penance for his offence at James City church in the time of divine serv ice according to the laws of England in that case provided." [Virginia Cou ncil and General Court Records 1640-1641, in "Virginia Magazine of Histor y" Vol. II, p. 281] This was a general law against fornication that appli ed to all members of the colony. Note that she was a servant and not a sla ve.
Note: many researchers say the man punished by the court in 1640 was Robe rt Sweete, gentleman, who came to Virginia on the ship "Neptune" in 161 8, was living at Elizabeth City in 1625 aged 42, and became a member of t he House of Burgesses, but this is wrong and should be corrected. Misspell ing of the surname (Sweat, Sweet) no doubt led to this speculation, but t he passenger list of the "Guiding Star" and the list of men brought ov er by Lt. Robert Sheppard in 1638 show that Robert Swett and this negro wo man were both servants of Lt. Robert Sheppard in 1640 and therefore wou ld have had ample opportunity to get together.
Robert Swett is called "Robert Sweat the Elder of Norfolk" in Bishop Gregg 's "History of the Old Cheraws" (1867) found in Appling County History Mus eum, 209 Thomas Street, Baxley, GA 31513 [extracts posted on RootsWeb by P amela D. and Steven R. Hudson.] There is an error in Bishop Gregg's accou nt -- he says that "Robert Sweat the Elder" was born about 1600 and ca me to Virginia on the ship "Neptune" in 1618.
Robert Swett and his free black wife were the ancestors of many Swett-Swea tt-Sweat families who spread across the southeastern United States. The na me and gender of their child born in 1640 or 1641 is unknown. Their son Wi lliam Swett was born about 1642 in James City. They removed to Norfolk whe re their son Robert Swett was born in 1650, and they may have had other ch ildren. After a few generations, depending on who they married, some of th eir descendants were considered white, some mulatto, some black, and so me Native American -- but they were almost always listed as people born fr ee.
Robert Sweat, born about 1623, was one of the immigrants imported into Vir ginia by Lieutenant Robert Sheppard aboard the ship Guiding Star in 1638 [ Foley, Early Virginia Families Along the James River, 21; Greer, Early Vir ginia Immigrants, 318 cited by Ben H. Swett]. He was made to do public pen ance during divine service at James City Church, James City Parish, Virgin ia, on 17 October 1640 because he "hath begotten with Child a negro wom an servant belonging unto Lieutenant Sheppard"
[Minutes of the Council (Robinson's Notes), 30, Virginia Historical Socie ty Mss 5:9R5613].
The "negro woman servant" may not have been a slave. The courts also refer red to indentured white servants as belonging to their masters. She may ha ve been Margaret Cornish. See further the Cornish History. Perhaps their c hildren were:
i. Robert Cornish, born say 1640.
ii. William, born about 1642.
Robert Sweat, born say 1610, was made to do public penance during divine s ervice at James City Church, James City Parish, Virginia, on 17 October 16 40 because he "hath begotten with Child a negro woman servant belonging un to Lieutenant Sheppard" [McIlwaine, Minutes of the Council, 477]. He may h ave been identical to or the son of Robert Sweete, Gentleman, who was a me mber of the Virginia House of Burgesses [McIlwaine, Journals of the Hou se of Burgesses, I:ix, 51]. And the "negro woman servant" may not have be en a slave. The courts also referred to indentured white servants as belon ging to their masters. She may have been Margaret Cornish.
Rebecca Goetz, Houston, Texas
Father: John "Alderman" SWETT b: 24 APR 1570 in Wymondham, County Norfolk, ENGLAND
Mother: Sarah LARAMY b: 1572 in Wymondham, County Norfolk, ENGLAND
Margaret CORNISH b: ABT 1619 in AFRICA
in James City County, Virginia English Colony (now USA)
- Robert Cornish "of Norfolk" SWEAT b: 17 OCT 1640 in Norfolk County, Virginia English Colony (now USA)
- William Cornish "of Southwarke" SWEAT b: 1642 in James City County, Virginia English Colony (now USA)