To all fellow descendants of "Maryland Van" Swearingen: today is St. Crispin's Day - the 596th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, one of the most important and improbable English victories in history. King Henry V, badly outnumbered, led a small English force against a superior French army in Agincourt in 1415 and, backed by longbowmen, defeated an army many times larger than his. One of Henry's noblemen, Sir Piers Legh II, was wounded in battle and surrounded and protected by his dogs until he was rescued. For the next 500 years his family bred the descendants of those dogs, known as the mastiffs of Lyme Hall.
Sir Piers Legh is the seventh great grandfather of Elizabeth Walker, wife of "Maryland Van", so there are hundreds of Swearingens in the US today who are direct descendants of Sir Piers, one of Henry V's band of brothers.