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Peter J. Swanson

The early settlers of Giles County were very special people - some of whom were my gggg grandparents - Peter J. Swanson (b. 1789 d. 1849) and Elizabeth Amelia "Milly" Tarkington(b. 1786 d. 1866). Peter was born in Williamson County - his parents were Edward Swanson (b. 1759 d. 1840) and Mary Looney Carvin. Amelia's parents were Zebulon Tarkington and Mary Hassell.Peter's oldest son was William Carver Swanson who married Ariadne E. Abernathy daughter of Alan Abernathy and Susannah Abernathy of Giles County.

Peter was a civil engineer and a surveyor and it is recorded that he helped Felix Zollicoffer build the suspension bridge in Nashville (as per "Life & Times of Edward Swanson" by Wm McRaven 1936).

In the 1830's Peter moved his family from Giles County to Caddo Lake which is located in Harrison County, Texas. He founded a famous landing called Swanson's Landing which became an important inland port to places as far away as San Antonio. The landing quickly became very busy with steamboats which traveled on the river and into the lake bringing supplies to the plantation owners of the area, besides transporting the plantation goods back to places like New Orleans. The steamboats also brought many people to the landing where they entered the new land of Texas searching for new lives and lands to homestead.

All I knew about Peter's "life before Texas" was that he came from Giles County. After making contact with several "Swanson cousins" in Tennessee - many of them shared with me how they wondered what had happened to "Peter and Amelia after they went to Texas". I decided to make contact with the Giles County website so that perhaps the "mystery" of Peter and Amelia would be answered for other members of the family.

Hopefully, the descendants of these wonderful families from Giles County and Williamson County will make a "Tennessee - Texas" connection to bring together all the "cousins".

Submitted by: Vicki Michel

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