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.

  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

      • Hi Kimberly,

        I’m also researching the Swayze family. My aunt told me that our ancestors were also on this plantation. I’d like to connect with you and may be we can collaborate and solve the mystery.

        • Stacy

          I just happened to visit this web page because I have misplaced some family history notes and thought I might have shared the info on this site previously.

          When were your ancestors on the Richard Swayze plantation? Are you aware of any family lore that reflects the experience of your family at Home Place in the 1840s, 1850s or 1860s? Do you have any idea if those owned by Swayze had been purchased from a trader and perhaps had been born in another state?

          When my great-great grandfather left Yazoo as a young teen, he appeared not to look back. He adopted the surname of a farmer/attorney that he me in KY after leaving MS. He rarely spoke of his Yazoo past.

          I am not aware of him communicating with anyone in Yazoo after he left, although my sister met two women from Yazoo who remembered being told about my great great grandfather when they were children in the early 1900s. They also had the surname Swayze – one woman was Marie Swayze but I can not recal the name of the second – that was the info I am trying to retrieve!

          I think Richard Swayze was my great great grandfather’s father – but I have no documentation to verify. I am curious about the mother – an enslaved woman who died when great great grandfather was a teen. He was allowed to leave the plantation when she died. I suspect she died in 1854 during an epidemic. I wonder if she was bought by Swayze or whether she was born into his enslaved community.

          I have no awareness of any family members in Yazoo after my ancestor left in 1853 or so.

          • Kimberly, I’m still learning. Not quite sure when they were on the plantation however, my aunt told me there were two Swayzes that had slaves. I’m going to start that research soon.

    • Soujourners father was Hardy Handley Swayze, not Clifford. His wife was Mada Brown Swayze, who was my grandmoother.

  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

    • Hey willie wynn. My name is andre we share a link with elder hester ann swayze. Andre lloyd look me up on fb.

  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.

    • Hello, Willie: This is a real long shot, but I’m a descendant of Mary Swayze Seward, sister of the two brothers who came to Mississippi. I just found a will of a Daniel Swayze, who would be a descendant of a brother who stayed in New Jersey, probated in the 1840s, that asked Daniel’s sons to provide for “my colored woman Willie” after his death. It’s unlike she found her way to Mississippi, but you never know. The Swayze brothers came to Mississippi with a group of people from New Jersey, including 5 enslaved persons, in 1773.

  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.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      For some reason I feel we have communicated in the past before. Have you taken an Ancestry DNA test? I am interested in connecting with anyone with an interest in El Dorado. My great-grandmother was born there.

      • Hi, yes I have. Isn’t it strange that there are no records of El Dorado? I would love to see a picture. My maternal family surnames are:

        Frasier, Miller, Jones, Clayborn.

        I am specifically looking for the Frasiers. I have finished the Miller, Jones, Clayborn history as far as I can go.

        What are your family surnames?

  8. Hello all,
    I am also interested in any info regarding slaves of the Swayze family. The 1880 census lists John A, Stephen L, and another Stephen (Mulatto) living with their families. The mulatto Stephen is my 3rd great grandfather. I am interested in piecing together stories especially the story of the two Stephens. Any info appreciated. Thanks

    • Hello Fatima,

      Stephen Swayze is my great great grandfather. He had a son named Jerry Swayze who left Yazoo to move to Arkansas. Jerry became a medical doctor. He died in Arkansas in 1944 after having several children, one of which was my grandfather, Dr. Burrus Swayze. Would love to hear from you. Jared Ollison, Raleigh NC jso94@hotmail.com 919-247-4478.

      • I just wanted to say hey to you! My grandfather was James Swayze Sr. I believe brother of Dr. Burrus Swayze. My father is James Swayze Jr.

  9. Hi, My name is Sarah Swayze. My mother married Clarence Swayze from Jefferson County, Mississippi. Can you tell me anything about the Swayze there> I have having troubles finding information on the Swayze’s in Jefferson County. Based on what I have been told, there were two brothers living in the area who were slave owners. One was a preacher. I believe their names were Clarence and Fird Swayze. Do you have any information on this or how I can find out? I am trying to traced my history. I run into a road block trying to find information past 1830s.

  10. I am a direct descendant of Richard Swayze, b1750 – ?, father of Mary Swayze b1781-d1825. She was married to Henry Noble which leads to my Noble/Bell family. I think Mary was born at Home Place. I am hoping to find the correct death date for Richard Swayze. I would love to come and visit. Are there any family records there?

    Barbara Bell Dubovsky

  11. I am a direct descendant of Richard Swayze b.1750. Do you know his death date? His daughter Mary Swayze was my 4th great grandmother. I’d love to come visit. Do you have any family records there?

    Barbara Bell Dubovsky

  12. My great great grandmother was Agnes Swayze, she was possibly born and raised on this plantation in Yazoo county with her brother Harper Swayze. She and her brother are half black half white. According to my Ancestry DNA results I am a direct descendant of Robert Swayze, Lydia Swayze, Nancy Swayze and Samuel Letty Swayze. I am on a search to find out who my gg grandmothers parents were and I really wanna know who her father was for sure.

  13. Hi—

    My brother and I are planning a trip to Yazoo in order to trace family roots and explore the area. Our 3rd great grandfather, Richard Swayze was the original owner of Home Place. We are descended from him through his daughter Missouri Druscilla Swayze Tate. We would love to meet some of our Swayze cousins and hopefully get a chance to see the old Home Place and visit the graves of some of our ancestors. Can you put us in touch with someone who can help us make the connection?


    Jenni Rahn

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