Eugenia Swift

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Eugenia Swift, with her niece Lynn Newman, circa 1970

Eugenia Madeline Swift (17 April 1895 - 1 July 1976) was an American bookkeeper from Buffalo, New York.

After spending 22 years in Buffalo, and 18 years in Canada, she spent her final 37 years in Michigan.

It is possible that some people referred to her by the nickname "Jeannie".

Her first husband was Clint Newman. They had three children:

Early life

Eugenia was born in Buffalo, New York, likely on 17 April 1895, since this is what is listed in the American Social Security Death Master File [1], as well as in the 1900 United States Federal Census. Her parents were John R. Swift (April 1847) and Teresa Kuntz (March 1854). Her father was born in Canada, and her mother was born in New York. Her parents were married in about 1890.

John R. Swift's mother was born in Ireland, and his father, England. He immigrated to America in 1864.

Her family had perhaps 2 brothers and three sisters:

  • Randall (March 1882) (office clerk in 1905)
  • Lulu (September 1886)
  • Salome (June 1893)
  • Mildred A. (October 1896)
  • John (1901)

In the 1900, 1905, and 1915 census she was living with her family at 306 Carolina Street, in Buffalo. Her father is listed as a railroad engineer in 1900 and 1905, but at age 68, "not employed" in 1915. Her mother is listed as a housewife.

Her career as a bookkeeper is attested in the 1915 census, and in the 1916 Buffalo city directory. (with her sister Salome also living at home, as a stenographer)

In 1916, her brother Randall is listed as a shipping clerk living at 269 Sherman.

At some point in late 1916 or early 1917, her father moved the family from their childhood home to 54 Ketchum place. She, her sister Salome, and father, (and presumably also her mother), made the move.

In 1917 her occupation is still given as bookkeeper, and she's still living at home.

Marriage and family

At some point in early 1917, she moved to Toronto to live with her boyfriend Clint Newman, a 24-year-old munitions worker, at his residence, 87 West Marion Street, Toronto.

On 19 May 1917, she signed a marriage license with Newman, at their private home at 87 West Marion Street, in Toronto, listing their intended place and date of marriage as 9 June 1917, in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The license lists her occupation as "bookkeeper" and his as "munition worker". Both are listed as Methodist.

On 9 June 1917, she presumably then married Newman in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

On 12 August 1917, Clint's border crossing document from Canada to the United States, through Niagara Falls, notes "abandoned domicile". He crossed into the US to take up residence with his father in law at 54 Ketcham Place, in Buffalo.

On 12 November 1917, she returned to her native Buffalo through Niagara Falls.

On 24 April 1918 her first son, Bruce Newman, is born, in Elmira, New York.

In the census of 1920, the couple are living together at 369 Cortland Avenue, in (Detroit) Wayne, Highland Park, Michigan, he as an inspector at an auto factory. His background is listed as Irish and hers as German.

In 1920, her second son, Jack Newman, is born, in Detroit, Michigan.

On 10 June 1920 Clint "abandoned [his] domicile" according to the Detroit border crossing record from 25 May 1934.

On 19 June 1920 she emigrated from 369 Cortland Avenue, in Detroit, Michigan, New York, to Canada "to join [her] husband" Clint Newman. His address is not legible enough to make out, but it's listed as somewhere in Ontario.

In the 1921 Canadian census, they are living at 133 Riverside Drive, Sandwich East, and her husband is a "Machinist" at an "Auto Shop", with an annual income of $1700 CAD. Average weekly earnings at this time for male manual work in Toronto were about $1250 per week. [2]

Her third and final son, Gene Newman was born in Toronto, Ontario, on 25 July 1929.

She moved back to America with her husband and 10-year-old son on 11 September 1939. They lived at 3801 Carter, Detroit. In the 1942 census Clint is still living with his wife.

At some point between this and Clint's second marriage in 1949, she divorced her husband, in Reno, Nevada, according to Clint's marriage license to his second wife.

According to Sandra Kenzie:

"Eugenia lived at 13574 Cloverlawn in Detroit [with her son Gene] in the 1950s. The screened in front porch was Gene's little office and there were bookshelves full of mystery novels. That was where I first read Sherlock Holmes!"


Residence Timeline

17 April 1895: 306 Carolina Street, Buffalo

Late 1916: 54 Ketchum Place, Buffalo

Early 1917: 87 West Marion Street, Toronto

12 November 1917: 54 Ketchum Place, Buffalo

24 April 1918: Elmira, New York

1920: 369 Cortland Avenue, Detroit

1921: 133 Riverside Drive, Toronto

Sometime before 1929: Winsdor, Ontario

11 September 1939: 3801 Carter, Detroit

1950s: 13574 Cloverlawn, Detroit

1 July 1976: Died in Muskegon, Michigan


1895 - 1917: Buffalo, New York

1921 - 1929: Toronto, Ontario

1929 - 1939: Windsor, Ontario

1939 - ?: Detroit, Michigan

1976: Muskegon, Michigan

So she spent 18 years, 1921 - 1939, or 22%, of her 81 years, in Canada.


Eugenia was living in the state of Michigan when she applied for Social Security benefits, according to the Death Master File.

She died 1 July 1976 in Muskegon, Michigan.


Border crossing data

Canadian and American censuses.