The Heritage of the Chippewa Swan Family

Compiled by Vicki Lynn Marie Swan, 2000. Edited by Jan Jordan Lokensgard, 2010


















(Birth, Marriage, Death)



Gi-ji-gos-se-kot, aka Ke-che-gos-se-kot, was born in the early 1500’s probably near the St. Lawrence
River in what is now Quebec. Sometime during the period of 1300-1400 the Ojibway people were near
the Eastern tribes, along the St. Lawrence River to the Great Lakes.

[About 1855, the chief of the Ojibiway band at Fond du Lac (Wisconsin), Loon-Foot, was interviewed by
Johann Georg Kohl. Mr. Kohl, an eminent German traveler, formed the acquaintance of several of the
Ojibway Indians and wrote about their ancestors, customs, character, and way of life.]

It is said of his name: “With the name of the last, Loon-foot’s genealogical tree was lost in the
clouds…of this name Loon-foot gave me the extraordinary explanation, “le ciel qui a peur de l’homme.’
He must have been a species of Titan. I cannot give the derivation of the word, but I find in it certainly,
traces of Gijig = heaven and agoski = fear.”1

His son was Misk-wan-di-ba-gan o, born abt. 1550. His name is given in French as “l’homme a la tete
rouge”, which means either a man with very red hair or a red head or he may have had over his head a red
animal skin.

He had a son abt. 1580, Mi-ti-gua-kosh 5, which means a stick of wood. The Chippewa were in Northern
Peninsula Michigan and around Lake Huron.

His son Scha-wan-a-gi-jik ;, was born abt. 1610. The Chippewa were still around Lake Huron but were
being driven North by the Hurons and the Wyandottes.

His son, Wajki 4, was born abt. 1640. His name means ‘the young man’ or ‘the beginner’. There were
several Chiefs by this name or variations thereof, who were prominent in later years. They may have
been namesakes or descendants of this man.

Wajki’s son, Wa-ja-wa-daj-koa 5, was born abt. 1670. His name means, ‘one having very red skin or
wearing a very red skin.’

His son, Matchi-wai-jan 6, was born abt. 1700. His name means ‘the great skin’. He was a mighty
hunter, Loon-foot added. In 1734 the Loon Clan was supposed to be around the Nipigon River on the
North shore of Lake Superior. Also around this period they are suppose to have driven the Hurons and
Wyandottes out of Northern Michigan and reclaimed land they had previously called their own.

Matchi-wai-jan’s son, Bi-aus-wa 7, was born abt. 1730 and died before 1825. His name means, ‘the man
who was dry or needed a drink of water’. From the Talks of Four Lakes, he was “generally accepted as
the leader of the first successful attacks on Sandy Lake.” He was the principal chief of the Sandy Lake
village during its first years as capital of the Ojibway Nation. Bi-aus-wa was even better known, however, for his civil leadership than as a war chief. Loonfoot said that “his grandfather had been a great
‘jossakid’ or magician. Once his squaw had been quite paralyzed, nearly dead, but his grandfather had
brought her to life with his breath.” His children were:

Zah-gah-tah-gun 8, aka, Spunk or Sq-ga-ta-gun, born abt. 1770, died abt. 1840; He married Be-mo-sahdum,
daughter of 'No-day and Ah-gway-daush. He signed the treaty of 1837 as a warrior from Sandy
Lake. One of their 5 children was a son, Mah-ke-boin-ain-shish.

Mah-ke-boin-ain-shish 9, was born abt. 1790 and married O-bah-bah-me-bug-oke. They had a
daughter, Kish-di-dee 10, born 1812 and died 6 July 1905. She married Rabbit or Wah-boose. They had
a daughter, Ay-go-je-bin-ais 11, born 1847, died 21 Jun 1935. She married Mon-ne-do-de-she-kee.

Their son was Thomas Swan 12, born 1868, died 26 Aug 1935, Becker County, MN. He married 'ancy
, born 1867, died 1 October 1953, daughter of Henry T. Bellanger and Ke-zhe-wahn.

Their son was John Swan 13, ‘Shayday’, born February 1896, died 12 March 1960. He married Sophia
St. Clair
, born 3 September 1898, died 31 July 1978, Becker County, MN. Their son, Maynard
Leonard Swan
14, born 1 November 1925. He married January 4, 1953, Hubbard County, MN, Cleo
Marie Armstrong
, born 19 October 1932. Their children are:

1) Donald Duane Armstrong, b. 14 Oct 1949
2) Patricia Ann Armstrong Strom, b. 14 Sep 1951
3) Vicki Lynn Marie Swan, b. 10 Jul 1953
4) Beverly Diane Swan, b. 7 Jul 1954
5) Michael Arliss Swan, b. 2 Aug 1955
6) Doreen Swan Seelye, b. 24 Sep 1956

1Johann Georg Kohl, “Kitchi-Gami: Wanderings Round Lake Superior”; p. 146-7; Chapman and Hall, London,
1860. Complete book is available on line at:

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    Last Updated:  08.1.2017