Biographical Note: Originally of Dutch descent, the Swaim family long resided in Newark (Essex County) and Springfield (Union county), New Jersey.The majority of the documents in this collection relate to John S. Swaim (1806-1875) and his son, Jacob W. Swaim (1836-1903). John S. Swaim, a son of Sarah Baldwin (b. 1782) and Matthias Swaim (1770-1868), was born on May 1, 1806 and became a minister of the Methodist Church.He served as a representative of the Newark Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church and, in 1863, was selected as one of the delegates to the U. S. Christian Commission whose purpose was "to promote the spiritual and temporal welfare" of U. S. servicemen.In 1864, he was appointed pastor of a church near Jacksonville, Florida, where he moved with his family.He died in 1875. John S. Swaim married Catherine T. Worth (b. 1805), with whom he had several children.Their son, Jacob W. Swaim, was born on September 8, 1836 and lived with the family in Florida during the Civil war.He served as treasurer of Duval County, Florida in the Reconstruction era and as an officer in the Freedman’s Savings Bank in Jacksonville.He later moved to Lynchburg, Virginia where he worked in the insurance industry, and by the 1890s, was living and working in Atlantic City, New Jersey.He died in 1903.