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William Holden, Patrick Swayze,
and Tom Hulce

their cousinship with
Jean Margaret (Kennedy) Mitchelson
through the Betts family

William Holden     
William Holden
Patrick Swayze     
Patrick Swayze
Tom Hulce     
Tom Hulce
It is curious that the fairly close relationship (double 7th cousins, as well as 8th cousins) of the actors William Holden (born William Franklin Beedle) and Patrick Swayze has not been more widely recognized. Their ancestors, the brothers Richard and the Rev. Samuel Swazey, respectively, married their own cousins — who were themselves two sisters — Sarah and Hannah Horton, and the two families appear to have lived in the same areas of New Jersey and Mississippi for several generations. The Rev. Samuel Swazey (or Swezey or Sweazey) was an influential Congregational minister who was followed by much of his flock, and especially, many of his kin, from Black River, Chester Tp., Morris Co., N.J., to Natchez, Adams Co., Mississippi, in 1772. Incidentally, the rather un-English “Swayze” spelling of the surname appears to be relatively modern, and although it has been applied retrospectively to early members of the family, it occurs in none of the 17th- or early-18th-century sources we have seen; in fact, we have not found an example earlier than 1780.
    Although William Holden was older than Patrick Swayze’s parents, the two men nevertheless belonged to the same generation in descent from the Swazeys and Hortons. Tom Hulce is a more distant relative but likewise a Betts-Swazey descendant; although almost exactly the same age as Patrick Swayze, he belongs to the next generation in descent from their common Swazey ancestor.
    Because the three actors also share the maternal ancestry of Joanna Chamberlayne, charts showing descents from the Stoughton family (such as The marquesses of Dufferin and Ava) should be consulted for further notable kin. As noted elsewhere, these include another cinematic connection — Evgenia Citkowitz, wife of the actor Julian Sands.

             Capt. Richard Betts = Joanna Chamberlayne
                 (d. 1713)       |    (1630-1711+)
              of Newtown, L.I.,  |
               sheriff, judge    |
          |                                   |
     Sarah Betts                       Mary Betts
   d. by Nov. 1713                    (1654-1734)
 = Edward Hunt (Sr.)           = Joseph Swazey or Swezey
      (d. 1716)                      of Mattituck, 
     of Newtown                     Suffolk Co., L.I.
         |                          (ca. 1653-1717)
         |                  __________________|_______
         |                  |                        |
  Edward Hunt, Jr.    Joanna Swazey        Judge Samuel Swazey
  (1684-1757/59)       1686-1724             of Southold, L.I.
of Maidenhead Tp.,  = Israel Parshall (I)       & Roxbury 
Hunterdon Co., N.J.  of Aquebogue,       (now Chester) Tp., N.J.  
  = ……….       Suffolk Co., L.I.         (1689-1759)
        |             ca. 1679-1738         = (1) Penelope Horton
        |                 |                    (1690-1746)
        |                 |       dau. of Barnabas Horton & Sarah Windes
        |                 |                __________|__________
        |                 |                |                   |
  Sarah Hunt   Israel Parshall  The Rev. Samuel Swazey  Richard Swazey
 (living 1774)        (II)          (1712-1784)          (1717-1786)
= Isaac Lanning   of Suffolk Co.  of Black River,      of Black River
of Hardwick Tp.,    ca. 1708/12-     Chester Tp.,     = his first cousin,
   Sussex Co          1744+        Morris Co., N.J.     Sarah Horton
     N.J.,       = Bethia Case  & Natchez, Adams Co., (sister of Hannah,
    d. 1781         1713-1744+      Mississippi        left, & dau. of   
        |                |     Congregational minister  Caleb Horton &
        |                |        = his 1st cousin,     Phoebe Terry)
        |                |         Hannah Horton              |
        |                |                 |                  |
  Elsie Lanning   Israel Parshall  Samuel Swazey (Jr.) Richard Swazey, Jr.
   (1739-1805)      of Chemung,     of Mississippi      of Black River
= Benjamin Wilcox  Tioga Co., N.Y.   or of Kentucky (?)  (living 1776+)
   Grimsby Tp.,    1736-1827      = Elizabeth Putnam    = Hannah Budd
 Lincoln Co., U.C.  = Ruth Howell          |                  |
   (1737-1816)       1733-1808             |                  |
       |                 |                 |                  |
  Daniel Wilcox     Keziah Parshall    James Swayze       Mary Swazey
 (ca. 1771-1857)   ca. 1764-1828    (living 1794-1808)    (d. 1825)
   of St. Anns,   = Benjamin Hulse  of Shelby Co., Ky.  = Henry Noble
 Gainsborough Tp.,  of Canandaigua,  = Elizabeth Starke    (1772-1852)
Lincoln Co., U.C.,  Ontario Co., N.Y.      |                   |
= Mary McIntyre      ca. 1757-1826         |                   |
   (1775-1816)           |                 |                   |
       |                 |                 |                   |
  Jemima Wilcox     Elisha Hulce   Alexander P. Swayze    Sarah Noble
   (1801-1876)         (Sr.)      (ca. 1808-bef. 1851)   (living 1831)
= Francis Comfort  = his first    of Adams Co., Miss.    = John J. Lamb
  (1800-1880)         cousin,     & Feliciana Parish,     of Adams Co.,
  of Beamsville,    Hannah Hulce      Louisiana           Mississippi
   Clinton Tp.,          |            = Amanda M.F.            |
Lincoln Co., U.C.,       |              Littleton              |
       |                 |                  |                  |
Margaret Comfort  Elisha Hulce    James Wesley Swayze    Sarah C. Lamb
  (1833-1916)           (Jr.)          (1840-1893)        (1831-)
John Kennedy (IV) = Laura Sanburn   of Franklin Parish,  = John Sloman
   (1832-1897)          |               Louisiana           (1831-)
   of St. Anns          |        & Kaufman Co., Texas  of Honey Point Tp.,
       |                |           = Sarah Elizabeth      Macoupin Co.,
       |                |                McDonald          Illinois
       |                |               (1851-1907)            |
       |                |                   |                  |
John Kennedy (V)  Alton Fenton   Jesse Elijah Swayze  Emma Louisa Sloman
   (1862-1939)         Hulce           (1890-1925)          (1862-)
   of Manitoba    = Ella A. Weaver    of Wichita Co.,   = (Henry) Samuel
  = Susanna             |                 Texas              Ball,
  Samantha              |              = Mamie Bell    of Litchfield,
  Helena Young          |                Johnson         Honey Point Tp.,
   (1882-1937)          |              (1895-1925+)       Montgomery Co., 
        |               |                    |              Illinois
        |               |                    |              (1858-)       
        |               |                    |                  |
  Jean Margaret   Raymond Stillman  Jessie Wayne Swayze  Mary Blanche Ball
    Kennedy           Hulce             (1925-1982)        (ca. 1894-)
  (1917-2000)                        of Missouri City,  = William Franklin
= Richard Harry   = Lenna Grace           Texas               Beedle,        
   Mitchelson         Baker            & Ventura Co.,      of O'Fallon, 
   (1914-1998)          |                 Calif.,          St. Clair Co.,
  of Winnipeg,          |          engineering draftsman    Illinois
    Manitoba            |          = Patsy Yvonne Helen      chemist
   (my natural          |                 Karnes           (1891-1967)
  grandparents)         |                 (1927-)               |
        |         ______|             dance instructor          |
        |         |                       |                     |
           Raymond Albert  Patrick Wayne Swayze   William Franklin Beedle
               Hulce               actor                (1918-1981)
           of Whitewater,       (1952-2009)             of Los Angeles, 
             Wisconsin           = Lisa Niemi            California
         = Joanne Winkleman     dancer & actress          known as 
                  |                                   William Holden 
                  |                                  = Brenda Marshall,
          Thomas Edward Hulce                             actress


I. General. The following sources supply the shared Betts-Swazey ancestry of our three subjects:

  • James Riker, The Annals of Newtown, in Queens County, New York… (New York, 1852), 373-78 (Betts); there are other accounts of this family in print, but this one is fundamental.
  • Moses Bigelow, The Scudder Family of Trenton (Newark, New Jersey?, 1948), 18 (for Mary Betts and Joseph Swazey).
  • Lucy D. Akerly, “William and Dorothy King, of Salem, Mass., and three generations of their Long Island descendants,” pt. 1, New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 33 (1902): 71-75, at p. 73 (for the parentage and maternal ancestry of Joseph Swazey). Reprinted in Genealogies of Long Island Families, 1:493-8.
  • Kenn Stryker-Rodda, “Who was Penelope, wife of Samuel Swazey?,” Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey 31 (1956): 1. Reprinted in Genealogies of New Jersey Families, 1:874.
  • Kenn Stryker-Rodda, “Sarah, wife of Barnabas Horton (1666-1696) of Southold, Long Island,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 63 (1975): 22-24.
  • Descendants of the Jersey Settlers of Adams County, Mississippi, available online at http://www.djs.org/.

II. Tom Hulce. Tom Hulce’s Betts ancestry was possibly first noticed by John H. Camp, who drew attention to it in The New Netherland Ancestors of Thomas Edward Hulce, which traces the actor’s line to the present, citing Lynn C. Harper & Sylvia Hulce, The Hulce/Hulse Families in America, 3 vols. (Kearney: Morris Publishing, 1998), which we have not personally seen, and Ardis Parshall, Parshall data submitted to the Long Island Genealogy website at http://www.longislandgenealogy.com/. In addition, we have referred to:

III. Patrick Swayze. Patrick Swayze’s descent from The Rev. Samuel Swazey (1712-1784) was referred to briefly, without documentation, in Robert Davenport, Roots of the Rich and Famous (Dallas, 1998), 43. His Betts-Swazey descent as shown above is outlined in its entirety on the “Celebritree” section of Ancestry’s website, at www.genealogy.com/famousfolks/patricks/. Reference is made on the site to Ruth Fletcher Latham, The History of the Descendants of the Jersey Settlers of Adams County, Mississippi (Portland, Oregon: The Descendants of the Jersey Settlers of Adams County, Mississippi), 3:51-2, etc., and to various census and vital records, which we have not personally checked. There are many references to the Swazeys in The Natchez Court Records, 1767-1805: Abstracts of Early Records, compiled by May Wilson McBee (Greenwood, Mississippi, 1953), but these records, while they throw much light on the family’s land-purchasing and slave-trading activities, do not appear to have genealogical content relevant to our purposes. We have however augmented (and in some places slightly corrected) Ancestry’s account from the following readily-accessible print sources:

  • Weiss, Frederick Lewis. The Colonial Clergy of the Middle Colonies: New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, 1628-1776 (Worchester, Mass.: American Antiquarian Society, 1957), 157 (on the Rev. Samuel Swazey).
  • Theodore Thayer, Colonial and Revolutionary Morris County ([Morristown?:] Morris County Heritage Commission, 1975), 99 (on the Rev. Samuel Swazey).
  • Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television, vol. 27 (on Patrick Swayze).

IV. William Holden. William Holden’s recent ancestry is presented on the “Celebritree” section of Ancestry’s website, at www.genealogy.com/famousfolks/williamh/, which however does not (at least as of July 2002) show his Betts-Swazey descent. This has been outlined without documentation by Elizabeth Holmes in Ancestors of William Holden, at http://members.tripod.com/~BettieHolmes/, and the parentage of Sarah C. Lamb is corroborated by an 1891 sketch of the latter’s husband, John Sloman, cited below. We have consulted:

  • “John Sloman,” in Portrait and Biographical Record of Macoupin County, Illinois (Chicago, 1891), pp. 437 ff., available online at http://www.rootsweb.com/~ilmaga/macoupin/1891bios/sloman_j.html (supplies four generations, from Mary Swazey to Emma Louisa Sloman).
  • American National Biography (1999) (for William Holden).

Return to list of famous relatives

From the Genealogy Page of John Blythe Dobson
URL = johnblythedobson.org/genealogy/famous/Swayze.html
This page written 25 January 2002
Last revised 23 September 2009