The story of the Swain family stretches back through time to the Viking settlers who populated the rugged shores of Scotland in the Medieval era. The name Swain was derived from the Old English personal nameSwein, which was originally derived from the Old Norse name Sveinn. This was one of the most common Scandinavian names in medieval Britain. Another source claims the name was an occupational name for someone "who acted as a servant or attendant; one who tended swine; descendant of Swain (young man, or boy servant)." 
Sweyn or Svein (d. 1014), was "King of England and Denmark, called Forkbeard, son of Harold Blaatand, King of Denmark, probably by his Queen Gunhild, though it was said that his mother was a Slav, a servant in the house of Palna-Toki, or Tokko, in Funen. " 
Earl Sweyn or Swegen (d. 1052), "the eldest son of Earl Godwin or Godwine and his wife Gytha, was early in 1043, when Edward or Eadward, called the Confessor, had become king, appointed to an earldom that was partly Mercian and partly West-Saxon, for it included Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, and Somerset. " 
Early Origins of the Swain family
The surname Swain was 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.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swain research. Another 204 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1100, 1214, 1250, 1499, 1521, 1585, 1690, 1680, 1542, 1609, 1540, 1550, 1510 and are included under the topic Early Swain History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Swain Spelling Variations
Spelling variations are extremely common among Scottish names dating from this era because the arts of spelling and translation were not yet standardized. Spelling was done by sound, and translation from Gaelic to English was generally quite careless. In different records, Swain has been spelled Swan, Swann, Swanner, Swani, Swayne, Swein, Sweing, Sweyn and many more.
Early Notables of the Swain family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Charles Swan (killed 1690), who was forced into piracy by his crew in the 1680s. He was killed when he attempted to escape back to England on a Dutch ship with five thousand pounds.
Robert Some... Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Swain Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Swain family to Ireland
Some of the Swain family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 70 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Swain migration to the United States
Those who made the voyage were greeted with ample opportunity to acquire land and a political climate far away from the oppressive monarchy of the old country. They settled along the east coast of what would become Canada and the United States. In the American War of Independence, those who remained loyal to England traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In this century, many Scots living in North America have begun to recover their rich heritage through festivals, highland games, and Clan societies. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name Swain:
Swain Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Jeremy Swain, who arrived in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1638 
Richard Swain, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1638 
Francis Swain, who landed in New England in 1645 
James Swain, aged 21, who arrived in Jamaica in 1684 
Robert Swain, who landed in New England in 1684 
Swain Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
John Swain, who landed in Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1703 
Eleanor Swain, who arrived in Virginia in 1715 
William Swain, who landed in America in 1760-1763 
Swain Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Charles Swain, who landed in Mississippi in 1842 
John, Swain, who landed in Mississippi in 1842 
James H Swain, who landed in Mississippi in 1842 
Isaac Swain, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1850 
J M Swain, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 
John Swain, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
Levi Swain, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1846 
W.R. Swain, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Isabella Watson" in 1846 
William Swain, aged 26, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nabob"
Swain migration to New Zealand
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Swain Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
James Swain, aged 39, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
Lusy Swain, aged 34, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
Amy Swain, aged 16, a domestic servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
Henry Swain, aged 20, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
Frederick Swain, aged 25, a butcher, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1820 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1820
^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HOOGHLY 1846. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846Hooghly.htm
^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ISABELLA WATSON 1846. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846IsabellaWatson.htm
^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html