John William Swiger was born in Bavaria, West Germany, in c. 1730, the child of one of the prominent families of the German Empire. He was raised to adulthood in Bavaria. At the age of about 19, he married Mary in Bavaria in c. 1749. After their marriage, John and Mary first settled in Bavaria, where their first child, Christopher, was born in 1750. After a few years, John, Mary, and Christopher set said for the new land of beauty and opportunity, the United States, in about 1755. After some time at sea, they landed in Virginia and traveled overland to make a home in Loudoun County, VA. Here in Loudoun County, the remainder of their children were born and raised; they spent about 21 years of married life in Loudoun County. During the Indian War and the Revolutionary War, two of his sons, Christopher and John, enlisted and served in Yohogania County, District of West Augusta, in the area soon to become Greene County and Fayette County, PA. The stories that Christopher and John brought back home about the beautiful country and farm land, and possibly the atrocities of the Indians of VA during this time, influenced John and his family. In 1777 John, Mary, and their family moved to Fayette Co. PA where they resided for a few years. Here in PA, John was engaged in merchantile pursuits and had a large distillery in neighboring Greene County, PA
and in this way came into possession of considerable Continental money. (His executors invested this money in a large tract of land in what is now Barbour County, WV, this being the only way in which the government would redeem the money. However, the heirs of this land failed to look after and pay the taxes and the revenues upon it, and the land reverted back to the government.) Following the Revolutionary War of 1776-1779, John, finding that his stock of wares for his large merchantile business becoming short and desiring to replenish it, reportedly set sail back to his native Germany for that purpose. However, he was never heard from again and was presumed dead at sea. It is supposed that he and his little craft were swallowed up by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. After John's presumed death at sea, Mary soon remarried to Joshua Allen, a widower, at Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh), Allegheny County, PA, in the 1780's. After the marriage, Mary and Joshua, along with borh of their families, came down the Monongahela and West Fork Rivers to take up a land grant on the West Fork near Hepzibah,
Harrison County, WV before 1790, and here on this farm they spent the remainder of their lives. Joshua died near Hepzibah c. Nov 1810 at the age of about 82. He apparently died intestate; however, an inventory of his estate is recorded in Harrison County, WV and dated 23 Nov 1810 (Harrison County Will Book 1 page 443). Mary was a homemaker and the mother of 7 children.
(Information taken partly from the HISTORY OF THE SWIGER FAMILY pgs. 10-13; and A HISTORY OF NORTHERN HARRISON COUNTY pg 64.)