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Home Place

Home Place

Midway Community

For at least five generations, the Swayze Home Place has been farmed by the same family.  Richard Swayze received an original land grant in 1832.  His first home still stands and is used as a tool shed today.  The present home was built in the 1850s.  This farm has been recognized nationally for its conservation practices.

14 Comments
  1. My great-great grandfather lived at Home Place from the late 1830s through the early 1850s. I suspect he was the 14 year-old mulatto male who appeared on the 1850 Slave Schedule under the “ownership” of Richard Swayze. He was reported to have recalled riding horses around the plantation (farm) with his father as a child. He left Home Place following the death of his mother, sometime between 1851 and 1854.

  2. My father-in-law, Sojourner Hays Swayze, was born on Home Place in the early 1900s, I think around 1919. He died about four years ago here in Albuquerque. His father, Clifford Swayze, inherited Home Place and was a direct ancestor of Samuel Swayze rather than Richard. I am married to Sandria Hays Swayze, Sojourner’s daughter. (So far this is documented in the Swayze genealogy book.) Clifford married Mada Brown, the daughter of a store owner in Yazoo City. Mr. Brown was at first a sergeant then a lieutenant in the Mississippi Artillery during the Civil War. There is a diary which he kept during the war in the Mississippi State Archives. Clifford proved to be no business man consequently Home Place was bought out by several other members of the family. Clifford and Mada then opened a restaurant in Gulf Port followed by another in New Orleans both of which did well. Eventually they sold out and moved for a brief time to Kansas then in 1927 came to Albuquerque. When I first became acquainted with the family in late 1956 Clifford had already died but Mada,”Mammy,” owned several restaurants and a thriving real estate business. When the space race began heating up in the late 1950s Sojourner, a university educated structural engineer, became director of the Martin Marietta Space Laboratory in Columbus, Ohio and remained its director for the ten years it was in operation and until it fulfilled a Department of Defense contract to develop an interspace rocket. Earlier during WWII as a new graduate from the University of New Mexico he was sent by the War Department to Salt Lake City to construct a defense plant. After completing it well ahead of schedule he was then sent to Bellingham, Washington to enlarge the Boeing plant. As a young man of 23 he was director of a work crew of some 2,200 in the enlargement of the Boeing structure. During later life Sojourner was director of two companies for Martin Marietta–International Hydroconduit Corp. and Rocky Mountain Prestressed Corp. and was on the board of directors for Martin Marietta.

    • Thank you so much for sharing this information with us, Col. What a treasure of information! We hope you get to visit us in Yazoo County.

    • Merle

      Does the Swayze genealogy book speak to Richard Swayze’s purchase of enslaved women during the 1830s or the names of his enslaved women at that time? Does the book speak to Richard’s emancipation of any enslaved Mulatto youth in the early 1850s?

      It has been over 150 years, it is OK to “let the cat out of the bag” and/or “out” anyone…we are talking history here!!!

      Kimberly Crafton

  3. My Great Great Great Grandmother Hester Ann Swayze was born in 1846 in Yazoo County. She later married Nathan Walton (b. 1840). I have reason to believe that my grandmother was a slave at the Home Place Plantation. The surname Swayze is very unique & Yazoo County was and still is relatively small for someone with this somewhat uncommon name.

    If anyone could assist me with any records during this period of time to confirm this perceived connection, I would greatly appreciate it. I was born in Jackson, MS, but now currently live in the Los Angeles area. When I’m back home to visit family, it would be historically fascinating to stop by Home Place for a quick look.

    • Thank you so much for your post! We hope someone here will be able to help you in your search for genealogical information on your family. If you would like help in locating a local genealogist, please call us a 800-381-0662. If you are more of a do-it-yourselfer, the Ricks Memorial Library and the Yazoo County Courthouse are great sources of information. We hope you get to visit Yazoo soon! 🙂

    • Willie

      Here’s the scoop! My review of Ancestry 1850 slave schedules for Yazoo MS reflects a 3 yr-old Black female owned by Richard Swayze at Home Place in Sept 1850. Alfred Swayze had a 6 yr-old female, William Swayze had a 6-yr old female, Budd and Gabriel Swayze had 4 yr-old females.

      Hope this helps…
      Kimberly Crafton

  4. Kimberly,

    Thank you for the update regarding the Swayze enslaved records. Could you please post the website link that can provide me with access to the 1850 slave schedule online. Per my search, the 1860 slave schedule is the only source that I’ve been able to readily find online. From the information that you’ve provided, my 3rd Great Grandmother Hester Ann Swayze’s enslaved records are most likely under 1 of the 4 Swayze’s listed in your comment section. Unfortunately, so many of the schedule don’t list the names, but just the ages of those that were enslaved during this period of time.

    I just left the Bentonia / Dover Yazoo area with my mother & older cousin earlier this week. I didn’t get a chance to navigate the Swayze Home Place Rd area on this past Mississippi visit due to bad weather & time restraints. I did however get a chance to visit some older family members on another side of my family that have land in and around Paradise Plantation near Dover Rd in Yazoo County, an area about 24 miles / 25 minutes southwest from Swayze Home Place Rd of Hwy 49. The next time that I fly to Mississippi, I am committed in making a trip on the other end of Yazoo County to see Home Place. Any assistance that you can provide in posting that 1850 Slave Schedule link would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for the reply back in October. This board is a very valuable source for research in this area.

    • Willie

      I secured my 1850 Slave Schedule for Yazoo MS about 10 years ago through the purchase of a CD set – well, that tech (program/folder/file/etc.) is no longer accessible online, but you can access the data through Ancestry.com (of which I am a member). It appears that William, Gabriel, Alfred and Richard were slave owners during 1850, so you’d want to search records through their names.

      Do you think Hester Ann was an enslaved child in 1850? Did she remain in MS and in the Yazoo area once she was an adult? What oral family lore do you have about the Swayze family? Are you aware of any connection of the Swayzes with the Sharp/Sharpe family? We have found an early 1900s news article about the death of a Senator Sharpe with Swayze ancestry – are you aware of this?

  5. Willie

    FYI…in 1850 Richard Swayze had a 6 month old enslaved Black Female and a 4 yr old enslaved Black Female…per my records…

  6. Kimberly,

    Thanks for the quick & valuable information on your response. In answer to your questions, my 3rd Great Grandmother Hester Ann Swayze lived in Yazoo County not only as a child, but as an adult as well. I am basing my research on her potential ties to Swayze Home Place per the sole assumption that she was enslaved prior to the Civil War & that she received her Swayze “maiden name” due to her enslavement with a Swayze family (as she was found in historical records as a resident in Yazoo). She can be found in the 1900 census as Hester Ann Walton married to Nathan Walton (b. 1840).

    I just invested in the ancestry.com membership last week so it’s great to know per your message response above that the Slave Schedules are a part of their service. I’ll need to navigate the option sites more to find this section to further my research. Based on your other question, I don’t have any oral lore on this side of the family during Hester Ann Swayze’s life during the 19th century. My Grandmother (2 generations later) was born in Humphreys County Louise, MS, but moved to Yazoo County as a young adult at some point. In her earlier life, she was both a cook and lived on a shack on Paradise Plantation in Dover Yazoo off of Hwy 49. I don’t think however that her life in this Bentonia area is linked to my families presumed ties to Swayze Home Place in the mid 19th century as they are a 25 minute’s drive separation.

  7. Does anyone have any information on El Dorado Plantation and/or mixed Jewish persons with the surname Frasier, particularly Fannie Frasier? Related to Jones and Miller surnames.

    • Thanks for your post, Carolyn. I hope some of our readers will be able to help you. If you haven’t already, we suggest contacting the Ricks Memorial Library at 662-746-5557 and speak to Sue Patterson. She is president of the Yazoo Historical Society and volunteers once a week as research librarian. She may have information for you.

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