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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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 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 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. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  4. 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.
  5. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  6. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  7. 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.
  8. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  9. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. 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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