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

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

The ancestors of the Swayze family brought their name to England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Yorkshire, at Swale.

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Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Swayze were recorded, including S Wales, Swale, Swalles, Swaile, Swailles, Swailes and many more.

First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Swale from ancient times. Although the Manor does not appear in the Domesday Book in 1086 the first recorded date is of John Swale who held the Lordship. He married Alice, daughter of Gilbert de Gaunt, and related to John of Gaunt about 1150. At this time he held the manor of West Grenton or Grinton in Swaledale.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swayze research. Another 202 words(14 lines of text) covering the year 1660 is included under the topic Early Swayze History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Swayze arrived in North America very early:

Swayze Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Elizah Swayze, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798

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  • Patrick Swayze (1952-2009), American three-time Golden Globe Award nominated actor, best known for his leading roles the hit films Dirty Dancing and Ghost
  • Don Swayze (b. 1958), American actor and stunt person, younger brother of the late Patrick Swayze
  • Isaac Swayze (1751-1828), American-born, Canadian captain during the War of 1812, politician and pioneer nurseryman, eponym of the Swayze Pomme Gris apple
  • John Cameron Swayze (1906-1995), American two-time Primetime Emmy Award nominated news commentator
  • Marc Swayze, American comic book writer


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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: Jesu, esto mihi Jesus
Motto Translation: Jesus, be my Savior

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  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  6. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  7. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. 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).
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  11. ...

The Swayze Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Swayze 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 3 March 2014 at 15:10.

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