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

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

The Swab surname first began to be used in the German state of Bavaria, some time after the 12th century, when hereditary surnames were adopted according to fairly general rules, and names that were derived from locations became particularly common. The family name Swab is a local surname. Originally denoting the proprietorship of an estate or influence within a village, the German preposition von, which means from or of, used with local names, was taken as a mark of aristocracy. The surname Swab was given to someone who lived in Swabia, a medieval dukedom that was in southwestern Germany. This is a regional name for a person who was form Swabia having derived from the Germanic word Schwaben, which means Swabian and is derived from the name of the Germanic tribe that inhabited this region. The Latin form of the tribal name is Suebi or Suevi.

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One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Swab include Schwab, Schwabe, Schwabel, Schwebel, Swab and others.

First found in Franconia and later Mecklenburg, where the name became prominent as many branches of the same house acquired distant estates, some in foreign countries such as Austria. They were always elevating their social status by intermarriage and by their great contributions to society. The name Schwab has been traced to Mecklenburg as early as 1298, when Ulrich Schwab, the first Count of Nemerow, lived. Chronicles also mention Christian Schwabel in Franconia in 1414.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swab research. Another 292 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1540, 1575, 1615, 1645, 1714, 1784, 1810, and 1840 are included under the topic Early Swab History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 39 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Swab Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The great European flow of migration to North America, which began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century, was particularly attractive to those from Bavaria who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. For many Bavarian tenant farmers, the chance to own their own land was a major incentive. So the widespread colonization of the United States began in 1650, when many immigrants from Germany settled in pockets in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. In Canada, German settlement centered in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were:

Swab Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Hans Jorig Swab, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1727
  • Pieter Swab, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1735
  • Hendk Swab, aged 18, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1748
  • Jurg Michl Swab, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1755

Swab Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Joseph Swab, aged 26, landed in Missouri in 1841

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  1. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
  2. Bahlow, Hans. Abhandlungen zur Namenforschung und Buchgeschichte. 1980. Print. (ISBN 978-3768690522).
  3. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
  8. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
  9. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmacher's Grosses Wappenbuch 35 Volumes. Germany: Bauer & Raspe. Print.
  10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  11. ...

The Swab Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Swab 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 27 October 2010 at 13:58.

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