The Swetland Family Association




The Swetland Homestead

The Swetland Homestead was originally believed to have been built by Luke Swetland and added upon by his descendants.  It is now believed that his original structure, a cabin-like home, had been disassembled with the re-use of much of the materials in a newer home.  It is evident by looking at the home and studying it's lines, how it had grown through the years just as the family had grown, both in size and wealth.

I hope to add more information here for you about the Swetland Homestead.  But for now, I will tell you that it still resides in Forty Fort, Pennsylvania.  It is just out of sight from the Wyoming Massacre memorial.  And, it is not too far from the Forty Fort Meeting House, that Luke himself helped build, and his descendants helped maintain.  And, behind the meeting house is where Luke, his wife, and several generations of children are buried.

Visit the Swetland Homestead at the Luzerne County Historical Society Website for Contact Information and Directions.


DAR Brings Aid to the Swetland Homestead – July 2011

Across the United States and possibly the world stand several “monuments” to the Swe(e)/(a)tland families.  These are places of historical significance that have been preserved in honor of a particular Swe(e)/(a)tland and of the acts they have performed to benefit mankind and their communities.  One such place that most of us know, possibly from attending past reunions, is the Swetland Homestead in Forty Fort, PA.  It resides on the lands once owned by Luke Swetland, a Connecticut settler to the new Connecticut lands in Penn’s Woods, Revolutionary War soldier and Indian captive. 

There is much history in this home and land, not only of the Swetland families that resided therein, but also of the life and times of the people and community that evolved during the years of 1772 to the early 1900’s.  The Luzerne County Historical Society is the organization that owns this property now and maintains it for all to see and enjoy.

During this past year, the Homestead endured some water damage when a water pipe failed.  To the rescue came Kathleen Smith and the Wyoming Valley Chapter of the Daughter’s of the American Revolution.  Working with the Friendly’s restaurant in Wilkes-Barre, the DAR collected a small percentage of the sales during four different fund raisers at the restaurant plus donations.  On July 4, 2011 the DAR presented Tony Brooks, Executive Director of the LCHS, a check in the amount of $815.00.  This exceeded the cost of the repairs allowing for a little extra towards further upkeep of the Homestead.

Figure 2 - Tony Brooks, Executive Director of the Luzerne County Historical Society, surrounded by members of the Daughters of the American Revolution as the present the $815 check.



In response to the DAR’s ambition and their support, they were invited to a picnic and tour at the Swetland Homestead.   A beautiful day was selected on June 18, 2011 for the picnic and tour.  Kathleen Smith also extended an invitation to the SFA President, Jamie Swetland and family, SFA Historian and SFA Treasurer, Roger and Priscilla Swetland to the picnic and tour.  It was a delightful meal, tour and visit with the DAR members and families.

Figure 3 - An ancient sugar maple frames a view of a DAR Picnic at Swetland Homestead.


Luke Swetland – The Indian Captive


And, to read more about Luke Swetland and his captivity by the Indians (Native Americans) click the following links to the Barnes & Noble Bookstore Website or Amazon's Bookstore Website. At either site you can chose to purchase a copy of the book written about Luke Swetland by his grandson Edward Merrifeld. This book is based on Luke's own narrative of his capture and escape as told around the evening fire to his children and grandchildren. Each book icon below will open a new web browser window for you.             Barnes &


Author Michael Karpovage Weaves Luke Swetland’s Story into Fictional Book

  NEW !!!  Our dear ancestor, Luke Swetland, contributes to a new mystery thriller novel !!  On sale now at major online retailers.

While many authors preserve history, others use that written history as a springboard for their fictional stories. Such is the case with the new book, Crown of Serpents.

The book synopsis states, “With the discovery of a campaign journal from an American Revolutionary War officer who fought against the Iroquois Indians, the U.S. Army calls in their top field historian to assess its contents. Jake Tununda, combat vet, Freemason, and half-Seneca Indian, is stunned when he gleans from the journals cryptic Masonic passages clues to the location of an ancient shamans crown once protected by the White Deer Society, a secret cult of his forefathers.”

Many Sweetland/Swetland Lore readers claim Luke Swetland as their direct ancestor. Author Michael Kar-povage separates fact from fiction as he shows how Crown of Serpents relates to their hardy forbearer:

FACT: September 5, 1779: American scouts of the Sullivan campaign rescued Luke Swetland in the Seneca In-dian village of Kendaia. The Seneca had captured Swetland in Pennsylvania a year before. An elder clan mother spared his life and adopted him into the tribe. After the war, in his memoirs, Swetland wrote that the scouts, mistaking him for a Tory, stole a silver broach from his shirt and threatened his life. He also wrote of finding a cave in the side of a hill not far from the village, a place he took refuge during the cold winter months of his captivity.

FICTION: In Crown of Serpents the scout who repatriated Swetland specifically wrote in his own campaign jour-nal how Luke showed him a secret Indian cave and how they also saw one of the famous sacred white deer of that area. The scout also writes about how Luke “gave” him the silver broach. This broach has engraved upon it a highly important symbol that relates directly to the ancient shamans crown of serpents. In the present day, the military historian discovers a similar broach that had been stolen from an Indian grave robber in that same area. With the clues from the scout's old journal he ends up on a dangerous hunt to find the hidden crown.





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This Page Last Updated August 28, 2011
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Jamie R. Swetland

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