Some Swanboroughs moved from Wiltshire
to Scotland and Wales in the early 1800's. From Wales, family
members dispersed to America, Canada and Australia. We have
records showing some family in America in the 1700's. The letters
written in 1867 seem to indicate that they moved in search of
employment and a better lifestyle.
However, one hypothesis received is:
- THE MOONRAKERS
(contributed by Nigel Swansborough)
- Mr. John Barfoot of Oxfordshire has done some research on the
Swansborough families in Wiltshire during the 17th and 18th centuries
(because of a family connection - in fact he is my 9th cousin) and has
come up with a theory as to the expansion of the family geographically.)
- In the days when contraband was smuggled into the West Country,
it was taken to All Cannings where several families, collectively known
as THE MOONRAKERS, would see that it was distributed around the
country. This was obviously an illegal operation! H.M.
Customs office became aware of this and started to take action against
the Moonrakers. This took place in the early 18th century with the
result that many of the Moonraker families took flight. If they were
caught, they risked deportation or even hanging. During this the
Swanboroughs seem to have suddenly disappeared and by1750 there were
none left in Wiltshire. This theory can only be supported by
circumstantial evidence, but it seems likely that as a family, we were
"on the run".
- As a small boy I remember my Grandfather telling
me a story that the family had long ago been in trouble with the law
and that someone had been hung, but he did not know why.
[Ed. note: since beginning this
project in May 1998, we have found several linkages back to the 1700's
and 1800's showing that not all Swanborough's left Wiltshire or England
- I am trying to prove or disprove this theory as the case may
be, but it is not easy to find records of these events, so we may never
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Updated February 2, 2005
Copyright 1998-2005, Bonnie Swansbrough
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