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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish

Where did the Scottish Sword family come from? What is the Scottish Sword family crest and coat of arms? When did the Sword family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Sword family history?

The Sword surname in Scotland has two distinct origins. In some instances it is an old occupational name for an armorer, derived from the Old English word "sword," while other occurrences of the name are from derivations from the personal name Siward.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Sword, Swerd, Suerd, Sourd, Suorde and others.

First found in the ancient Pictish lands where they were anciently found in their territories. Sword was the name of the victor over MacBeth at the battle of Dunsinnan in 1054. A Robert Suerd is on record in the Pipe Rolls of Berkshire in 1185. Other early records show a John Swerde, who was given conduct from Scotland into England in 1398; he was the Master of a ship "Archibald," and was made Earl of Douglas in 1405. Malcolm Sword was on record in Stirling in 1628; a Patrick Sword was treasurer there in 1631, and burgess in 1646.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sword research. Another 125 words(9 lines of text) covering the years 1745 and 1870 are included under the topic Early Sword History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Sword Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sword Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • James Sword, who arrived in Virginia in 1713
  • Humphrey Sword, who landed in Maryland in 1716

Sword Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Jane A Sword, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1849
  • David R Sword, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1874

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  • Eileen Sword, American actress
  • Sam Lee-Arthur Sword (b. 1974), former American NFL football linebacker
  • Brian Sword, film producer/director


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Paratus
Motto Translation: Prepared.

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  1. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  2. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  3. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  4. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  5. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  6. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  7. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  8. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  9. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  10. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  11. ...

The Sword Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sword Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 12 January 2011 at 14:17.

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