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

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

The roots of the Swanigan family name are in ancient Scotland with the Viking settlers. Swanigan was derived from the Old English personal name Swein, which was originally derived from the Old Norse name Sveinn. This was one of the most common Scandinavian names in medieval Britain.

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Sound and intuition were the main things that scribes in the Middle Ages relied on when spelling and translating names. Since those factors varied, so did the spelling of the names. Spelling variations of the name Swanigan include Swan, Swann, Swanner, Swani, Swayne, Swein, Sweing, Sweyn and many more.

First found in Lanarkshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig) a former county in the central Strathclyde region of Scotland, now divided into the Council Areas of North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, and the City of Glasgow, from very early times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swanigan research. Another 405 words(29 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1100, 1214, 1250, 1499, 1521, 1585, 1690 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Swanigan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 73 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Swanigan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Swanigan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 127 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In North America, the monarchy was thousands of miles away and Scots were free to settle on their own land and practice their own beliefs. The American War of Independence provided an opportunity for these settlers to pay back the English monarchy and forge a new nation. Recently, this heritage has survived through North American highland games and Clan societies. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Swanigan or a variant listed above: Edgar Swan, who landed in Virginia in 1635; Frances Swan, who landed in Barbados in 1670; John Swan, who landed in New Jersey in 1685; another John Swan, who landed in Virginia in 1635.

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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: Fidelitas
Motto Translation: Fidelity.

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  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  8. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  11. ...

The Swanigan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Swanigan 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 21 June 2013 at 14:14.

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