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

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

The German state of Bavaria is the ancestral home of the Swope family. Swope is a local name. Swope is a name for 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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Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Swope 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 Swope 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 Swope 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 Swope Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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European migration to North America began in the mid-17th century and continued unabated until the mid-20th. Many Bavarians made the long trip to escape poverty or persecution based on their religious beliefs. The chance for tenant farmers to own their own land was also a major drawing card. They settled all across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many came to Canada also, settling in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Swopes to arrive in North America, and among them were:

Swope Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • George Swope, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1744
  • Christopher Swope, who landed in Maryland in 1798

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  • Herbert Bayard Swope (1882-1958), U.S. editor and journalist
  • Gerard Swope (1872-1957), American electronics businessman
  • King Swope (1893-1961), United States Representative from Kentucky
  • Henrietta Hill Swope (1902-1980), American astronomer
  • George Robert "Rob" Swope (1926-1967), American jazz trombonist
  • Guy Jacob Swope (1892-1969), American teacher, accountant, and Democratic politician
  • John Augustus Swope (1827-1910), Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Samuel Franklin Swope (1809-1865), American 19th century politician and lawyer from Kentucky
  • Topo Swope (b. 1948), American actress and talent agent
  • Thomas Hunton Swope (1827-1909), American real estate magnate and philanthropist in Kansas City, Missouri


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  • History of the Swope Family and Descendants of Rockington County, Virginia by The Swope Family History Committee.
  • The Swope Family Book of Remembrance by Emily Swope Morse.
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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
  3. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
  4. Steed, Henry Wickham . The Hapsburg Monarchy. London: Constable and Company, 1919. Print.
  5. Kneschke, Dr. Ernest Heinrich. Neues allgemeines Deutsches Adels-Lexicon 9 Volumes New General German Aristocracy Lexicon. Leipzig: Friedrich Voigt, 1859. Print.
  6. Nied, Edmund. Fraenkische Familiennamen urkundlich gesammelt und sprachlich gedeutet. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1933. Print.
  7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  9. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
  10. Gritzner, M. Handbuch der heraldischen Terminologie in zwölf Zungen. Nürnberg: 1890. Print.
  11. ...

The Swope Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Swope 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 August 2014 at 18:33.

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