Orange County, Florida

Copyright © 1999-2015 Orange County FLGenWeb

Orange County FLGenWeb: The Family of William James Swearingen of Orlando

Researched and donated by Lisa K. Slaski.

Lisa is not directly related to this family.

If you would like to provide more information (corrections or additions), please send them in!

Note: this may not be a complete family record. There is quite a bit of information online about this family. The biggest difficulty I had was finding records in which the surname was either spelled incorrectly, or the handwriting was transcribed incorrectly. There are still some records that should exist online (i.e. the 1900 census), that I have yet to find. I have only put down information that I could confirm thru various records that I found. There is some additional information in trees placed on and on placed on those sites by visitors/users which I could not completely verify. Nor did I try to research William's or Frances' parents or siblings, just their immediate family. All information was gathered online.

William J. Swearingen, was born on 2 Feb 1861 in GA, a son of O. P. Swearingen and Georgia H. Boswell. He moved to Orlando by 1885, where he is found in the state census in that year. On 24 Jun 1885, he married Frances L. Roberson in Orange county, FL. He died on 23 Jan 1920 in Orlando, Orange County, FL and was buried in Patrick Cemetery according to his death record. Frances died in 1951. Both William and Frances along with some of the children, are found in the Lake Hill cemetery listing on

They had at least the following children:
        1. Lottie Leola Swearingen, b. 1888, d. 1975, m. John Francis Gordon
        2. Leslie William Swearingen, b. 1893, d. 1943.
        3. Clyde Samuel Swearingen, b. 1895, d. 1962.
        4. Nina Mae Swearingen, b. 1898, d. 1950, m. William Clark Woodruff
        5. Sydney Jackson Swearingen, b. 25 Sep 1901, d. 1956, m1. Kathryn Walker, m2. Frances Clements
        6. child (stillborn), b./d. 21 Apr 1909

The 1909-1910 Orlando City Directory lists Wm. J. (wife Frances, occupation: Carpenter, has a phone), Leslie and Lottie all at 402 W. Church street.

The Carey Hand Funeral Records has a record of the stillborn child of Wm J. Swearinger.

The 1910 census provides the following:
        Orlando City, Sup Dist 2, Enum Dist 110, sheet 6B
        residing at 402 West Church Street
        Swearingen, James W., 49, m1 25, GA, GA, GA, carpenter, house
        Frances L., wife, 42, m1 25, 6/5, FL, GA, FL, dressmaker, house
        Lottie L., daug, 21, FL, clerk, dry goods
        Leslie W., son, 17, FL, fruit packer, packing house
        Clyde S., son, 14, FL
        Nina M., daug, 12, FL
        Sydney J., son, 8, FL

Nina is mentioned in the first publication of "The Echo" from the Orlando High School in 1914. At this time she was a senior, class of 1915 (the publication was around Christmas of 1914). She is also found in 1918 in an article in the Rollins College publication, the Sandspur, Vol 20, No. 28, 6 Apr 1918, page 4, that states that she left during her junior year to teach music in a conservatory in Fort Worth, Texas. Both of these publications can be found in the collections of Central Florida Memory.

The Florida Marriage index on provides information about the marriage of Lottie Leola Swearingen to John Francis Gordon on 8 Oct 1914.

The family is found in the 1915-16 City Directory, listing: Clyde (plumber), Leslie (trucking), Miss Nina, and Wm J. (wife Frances) all residing at 400 W. Church street.

The WWI Civilian Draft Registration shows that Clyde Samuel Swearingen was born on 3 Aug 1895 in Orlando, FL.

The 1920 census shows similar information to the 1910, with just Clyde and Sydney still residing at home.

The Florida Marriage index provides information about the marriage of Sidney J. Swearingen to Kathryn C. Walker in Tavares, Lake County, FL on 16 Sep 1920.

The 1920-21 Orando City Directory, provides Frances L. (widow of Wm. J.) trying to rent rooms at 400 West Church Street; along with her, both Leslie and Sidney J. (wife Catherine), a machinist, also reside still at the home.

The marriage of Sidney J. Swearingen to Mary Frances Catherine Clements on 31 Dec 1929 in Niagara Falls can be found on This record states that his father was born in Dooly county, GA and his mother was born in Orange county, FL. It also states that this is his first marriage, but this fact appears to be incorrect based on previously provided evidence. A border crossing nearby in Nov of 1929 shows that he was living in Toronto from about April of that year thru Nov. He was working as a salesman.

By 1930, Frances is living at 419 South Orlando Drive with her son Leslie. She is widowed and he is unmarried. Neither have a job, and he is not a veteran. Her daughter, Nina, is living in Washington DC, working as a clerk for the U.S. Government. Her son, Sidney, is found in the 1930 census in Buffalo, Erie County, NY with his new wife.

A marriage record posted by Serenity888 on provides information about the marriage of Nina Mae Swearingen to William Clarke Woodruff in Orlando on 1 Feb 1932. This ancestry tree has a lot more detailed information about the family in it.

In 1940, it appears that Sidney boarded a ship at San Juan, Puerto Rico and was caught as a stowaway and was returned to San Juan. He gave his address as 25 South Street in NYC, and his birth date as 25 Sep 1897 in Orlando, FL. His birth date on his marriage record in 1929 was given as 25 Sep 1898 in Orlando, FL. Census records show that he was born about 1902 and his gravestone gives 1901 as his date of birth.

On 27 Feb 1941, Sidney arrived in NYC on a ship originating from San Juan, Puerto Rico. He gave his date of birth as 20 Sep 1897 in Orlando, FL, and his residence as 412 Harwood Ave, Orlando, FL. He died in 1956.

Primary sites used were Central Florida Memory collections, Findagrave,, FamilySearch, and the USGenWeb Archives.