van Swearingen
Alternate First Name(s)
Alternate Last Name(s)
"The Flying Dutchman"
Birth Date
Birth Date Notes
Born in Beemster near Amsterdam
Death Date
Death Dates Notes
aged 61-62
Ancestor Notes

Gerret Vanswearingen was born in 1636, in Reensterdwan (or Beemsterdam), Holland. When he was about twenty years old, the Dutch government appointed Gerret "supercargo" on the "Prince Maurice" which was to go to New Amstel, DE (now New Castle) in support of the Dutch colonist there. The ship sailed on 25 December 1656, but was severely damaged by storms near the end of the journey. The 180 passengers went ashore at Long Island on March 8, 1657.

Gerret married Barbarah de Barrette in 1659 at New Amstel. Shortly after their marriage, Garret and Barbarah returned to Holland where Gerret served as one of the "counsell and Comissary Generall for the City of Amsterdam.

Garret and his wife returned to New Amstel around 1661, where he served as clerk, and later served as sheriff.

Issue of Gerret and Barbarah:
Elizabeth Van Swearingen, born 1661, New Amstel, DE - Zacharias Van Swearingen, born 1662, New Amstel, DE; - Thomas Van Swearingen, born 1665, probably in Talbot Co; - Garrot Van Swearingen

In 1670, Barbarah de Barrette died at St. Mary's and six years later, Gerret married Mary Smith.

Gerrit was married (secondly) in October 1676, in St. Mary's County, Maryland, to Mary Smith (born in 1660, died circa August 1713, in St. Marys County, Maryland), the daughter of Hugh Smith. Mary was from St. Marys County. She and Garrett signed their ante nuptial agreement October 5, 1676. Mary wrote her will February 17, 1712, and it was proved September 5, 1713.

Garret Vanswearingen died at St. Mary's in 1698 and was buried with Catholic rites in accordance with his will. Mary Smith died in 1713. Garret was Catholic, but his descendants were of the Prostestant faith.

Garret's son, Thomas Vanswearingen , dropped "Van" from his last name - which started the name Swearingen.

Bio by: Allan Wenzel