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PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:59 am
by CherylDJohnson-983
I'm researching my greatgreat grandfather, Isaac M Sweeny (or Sweeney) born Feb 1831 in Vermont, died Jan 1897 in Goshen, Washington County, Arkansas.

Isaac was married to Sarah E Bartlett; they had 5 children: Charles, Ulysses Grant, Verona (my great-grandmother), Agetha/Agatha, and Hervie/Hervey.

Isaac appears in the 1850 US census in Rutland, VT living with another family. That's all the information we've been able to find for him in Vermont - other than he lists Vermont as his place of birth in US censuses. One of his children also listed his place of birth as French Canada or Vermont at various times.

Anyway, I'm here hoping to gain some access to records or other information that will help us along in our research.

Re: Sweeny/Sweeney

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:19 pm
by EdwardMcGuire-264
Cheryl, I was wondering what type of record identifies his Feb 1831 birth date. Is it based on the age on a census or was there a record with VT vital records or a baptism? Or another source? That information would help in defining where next to look. Regards, Ed

Re: Sweeny/Sweeney

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:12 pm
by CherylDJohnson-983
EdwardMcGuire-264 wrote:Cheryl, I was wondering what type of record identifies his Feb 1831 birth date. Is it based on the age on a census or was there a record with VT vital records or a baptism? Or another source? That information would help in defining where next to look. Regards, Ed

It is on his headstone in the graveyard in Arkansas.

Re: Sweeny/Sweeney

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:18 pm
by CherylDJohnson-983
I'm anticipating we'll be putting in an order for a birth certificate search - we just haven't gotten around to doing that yet. We're also thinking about making a trip to Arkansas and Vermont in the next year to visit some of the places our Sweenys/Sweeneys lived - and doing some of the record-searching in person.


Re: Sweeny/Sweeney

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:15 am
by ThomasWheel-985

In researching a distant uncle, I discovered that his wife, Mary Sweeney in Vermont records, was born Marie Marguerite Choiniere. This name is a variant of the dit name Chauniere that is commonly used for the Sabourin family. There are other variants as well. Chouinard is another name Anglicized as Sweeney although that is a different Quebec family line.

While I did not find a record for Issac born 1831 in Vermont, I did find the following: Isaac Choiniere Alias Sweeny, "United States Border Crossings from Canada to United States, 1895-1956". I consider this additional evidence of the Choiniere - Sweeny Anglicization. You can retrieve that record at

There is a good possibly that he was born in Quebec and later told that he was born in Vermont or he assumed it. I have found many records like that. The Mary Sweeney mentioned above came from Saint Athanase parish in Saint Jean sur Richelieu. I have her baptism record. Saint Athanase parish also lists an Issac Choiniere baptized there on 20 Feb 1831.

Go to and search the Quebec Catholic parish registers for Saint Athanase parish. It is Image #557 on Roll 1204738. It is baptism number 43 in the lower right of the image. His parents were Ignace Choiniere and Marguerite Hebert. Marguerite Hebert died and Ignace married Josephte Cote in 1834. The family moved to Franklin County about 1838 with several children then born in Vermont. He appears there as Enos Sweeny in the 1840 US Census and as Enos Sweeney 1850 and 1860 US Census (that connection was made by Virginia DeMarce). See WorldConnect for her work on his man. She does not mention Issac.

You would need additional evidence to link this Issac Choiniere as your ancestor. If his parents are named on his marriage or death record, you might have what you need. Hope this helps.

Per Forum restrictions, I could not post the URLs. Contact me via email at pepewheel if you need them to research this project further.

Tom Wheel

Re: Sweeny/Sweeney

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:35 pm
by EdwardMcGuire-264
Cheryl, it is exciting to see all the information and leads that Tom Wheel just provided to you. Our forums are relatively new and we hope their use continues to grow because of all the shared expertise our members possess.

When you decide to come visit Vermont please let us know. We can do research for you in advance and contact libraries, societies and government repositories you plan to visit to insure they will be open, have access to what you need and, perhaps, do some groundwork for you. We can also scour our resources, use our online access to Quebec records and get in touch with sister societies in New England, Quebec and New York, as needed. - Ed

Re: Sweeny/Sweeney

PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:29 pm
by CherylDJohnson-983
Thank you Tom and Ed for all the information. I've been chatting with my cousin Frances (who is also a member of this library and forums) and 2 of our cousins who are part of our family research team. Wonderful information and it goes right along with what we've been thinking for quite awhile - that Isaac was born in Quebec and not in Vermont. It was just a hunch and we hadn't found anything to really substantiate our hunch. Tom's info gives us something to work on now.

Thanks again and we'll be in touch!


Re: Sweeny/Sweeney

PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:16 pm
by CherylDJohnson-983
An interesting follow-up note.

I was poking around in this morning as part of their free weekend and almost immediately found an 'Angeline Sweeny' and a 'Henry Sweeny' in the 1850 census for Burlington, Chittenden, Vermont. Both are listed as being born in Canada.

What caught my eye was the name 'Angeline' - this was my great-grandmother's middle name (Verona Angeline); she was one of the children of Isaac Sweeny (mentioned in my previous posts here).

I'm just suspicious that Isaac named his daughter after his mother - and Angeline and Henry would be the right age to be his parents. And although he is not listed in their household, he does show up as a Laborer in another household in a nearby county (Rutland) in Vermont.

Anyway, just something more for us to chase after.