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Dorcas and Caleb

Nevins Memorial Library in Methuen named for the grandson of Dorcas and Caleb

Dorcas Ingalls (1751-1821) and Caleb Swan (1749-1798)

Generation Five Family 737

DORCAS INGALLS (James Ingalls4, Mary Stevens Ingalls3, Sarah Abbott Stevens2, George1), b. at Andover, 18 Feb 1750/1 daughter of James and Mary (Frye) Ingalls; d. at Methuen, 16 Jul 1821; m. 30 Sep 1777, her third cousin once removed, CALEB SWAN, b. 4 Oct 1749 son of Timothy and Mary (Abbott) Swan. Caleb Swan’s mother Mary Abbott is from the Rowley Abbott line.

Dorcas was born in Andover, but after her marriage, joined her husband in Methuen where they raised a family of eight children. One son, Dr. James Swan, was a physician in Springfield. Their daughter Achsah was the mother of the industrialist David Nevins, Sr. whose family wealth was used to fund the Nevins Memorial Library in Methuen.

Caleb Swan served several enlistments during the Revolutionary War beginning as a Corporal in Captain Archelaus Towne’s Company which saw action in the early phases of the war including the siege of Boston. In 1777, he held the rank of Sargent in the Continental troops. By 1781, he held the rank of Captain of a company in the 4th Regiment of Essex militia.

Captain Caleb Swan did not leave a will and his estate entered probate 3 September 1798. Dorcas Swan and James Ingalls (likely his father-in-law) administered the estate. Heirs that are mentioned in the distribution documents and receipts are Deborah Swan, Bailey Davis on behalf of his wife Hannah, Kendal Mallon and his wife Dorcas, and Dorcas Swan signing as the guardian for Achsah Swan, Caleb Swan, Fanny Swan, and James Swan. The inventory of the estate totaled $3,626.52.

Dorcas and Caleb Swan had eight children born at Methuen.

DORCAS SWAN, b. 16 Jun 1778; d. at Lowell, 14 Dec 1863; m. at Methuen, 9 Jul 1799, KENDALL MALLON, b. at Methuen, 1 Jul 1771 son of James and Hannah (Parker) Mallon; Kendall d. between 1830 and 1840 likely at Charlestown. Five children have been identified for this family, the youngest of whom (Kendall Mallon) was born in Mason, NH in 1815.

DEBORAH SWAN, b. 10 Mar 1789; d. at Newburyport, 17 Apr 1835; m. at Methuen, 23 Nov 1802, POTTLE RICHARDSON, b. at Methuen, 3 Sep 1773 son of Francis and Mary (Ford) Richardson; Pottle d. 26 Jan 1847.

HANNAH SWAN, b. 19 Apr 1782; d. at Methuen, 1 Jan 1820; m. at Methuen, 11 Mar 1800, BAILEY DAVIS, b. at Methuen, 15 Nov 1776 son of John and Hannah (Cross) Davis; Bailey d. 25 Oct 1824 (probate 16 Nov 1824).

CALEB SWAN, b. 10 May 1784; d. 4 Jan 1788.

ACHSAH SWAN, b. 23 Aug 1787; d. at Methuen, 15 Jan 1866; m. 4 Aug 1808, JOHN NEVENS, b. at Salem, NH, 4 Sep 1784 son of David and “Nanna” Nevens; John d. at Methuen, 15 Nov 1860. The Nevins Memorial Library in Methuen is named for their son David Nevins, Sr.

CALEB SWAN, b. 20 Mar 1790; d. at Methuen, 4 Dec 1863; m. 1st, 19 Jun 1814, ASENATH “SENA” TOWNE, b. at Andover, 16 Feb 1789 daughter of Peter and Rebecca (Sheldon) Towne; Sena d. 18 Feb 1831. Caleb m. 2nd, 19 Feb 1832, JUDITH PETTENGILL, b. at Methuen, 2 Apr 1797 daughter of John and Hannah (Burbank) Pettengill; Judith d. at Marblehead, 30 Dec 1870.

FANNY SWAN, b. 8 Jul 1792; d. at Philadelphia, 8 Nov 1862; m. 31 Dec 1811, JOHN BRADLEY, b. at Haverhill, 10 Feb 1789 son of Joseph and Mary “Polly” (Osgood) Bradley; John is likely the John Bradley who died at Haverhill 30 Nov 1830.

JAMES SWAN, b. 31 Oct 1794; d. at Springfield, MA, 16 Aug 1846; m. at Methuen, 24 Oct 1822, MARTHA “PATTY” SWAN, b. at Methuen, 17 Dec 1792 daughter of William and Janette (Dinsmore) Swan; Martha d. at Lee, MA, 7 Apr 1896. (Martha Swan His Wife Died at Lee, Mass. Apr. 7, 1896 Aged 103 Yrs. [Springfield Cemetery]) Dr. James Swan was a physician in Springfield.


1840 United States Federal Census, Year: 1840; Census Place: Charlestown, Middlesex, Massachusetts; Page: 107

Essex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1638-1881. Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. Probate of Caleb Swan, 3 Sep 1798, Case number 26880, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War 1775-1785

New Hampshire, Births and Christenings Index, 1714-1904.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915.

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