Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name MacSwane is Mac Suibhne, which is derived from the word "suibhne," which means "pleasant."
Early Origins of the MacSwane family
The surname MacSwane was first found in County Donegal
(Irish: Dún na nGall), northwest Ireland
in the province of Ulster
, sometimes referred to as County Tyrconnel. The name is derived from Suibhne O'Neill, who was a chieftain
in Argyll, Scotland
. His descendants migrated to Ireland
as gallowglasses (mercenaries) prior to 1267. The three great septs of this name finally established themselves in Tirconnell in 14th century; they were known as MacSweeney Fanad, MacSweeney Banagh, and MacSweeney na dTuath, who were commonly referred to as 'MacSweeney of the Battleaxes.' They later became attached to the MacCarthys in the south and acquired their own territories and castles in Muskerry in County Cork.
Early History of the MacSwane family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacSwane research.Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1299 and 1310 are included under the topic Early MacSwane History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacSwane Spelling Variations
Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations
of the surname MacSwane were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. MacSweeney, MacSweeny, MacSwine, MacSwiney, MacSwyne, MacSwyny, MacWhinney, MacWhinny, MacWhinnie, MacSwiny, McSweeney, Swiney, Swinney and many more.
Early Notables of the MacSwane family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family at this time was John MacSween, a 13th-14th century nobleman who lost his lands in Scotland
after the defeat of the forces and death of Alexander Og MacDonald, Lord of Islay
in 1299. In... Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacSwane Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacSwane family to the New World and Oceana
A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia
in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine
during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name MacSwane or a variant listed above: Adam Sweeney, who settled in New York, NY in 1805; Alexander Sweeney, who came to Boston in 1768; Biddy Sweeney, who arrived in St. John, N.B. aboard the Brig Ambassador in 1834.