Origins Available: Irish
Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name McSwan is Mac Suibhne, which is derived from the word "suibhne," which means "pleasant."
Early Origins of the McSwan family
The surname McSwan 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 McSwan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McSwan research.Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1299 and 1310 are included under the topic Early McSwan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McSwan Spelling Variations
A name was often recorded during the Middle Ages under several different spelling variations
during the life of its bearer because literacy was rare there was no real push to clearly define any of the languages found in the British Isles at that time. Variations found of the name McSwan include MacSweeney, MacSweeny, MacSwine, MacSwiney, MacSwyne, MacSwyny, MacWhinney, MacWhinny, MacWhinnie, MacSwiny, McSweeney, Swiney, Swinney and many more.
Early Notables of the McSwan 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 McSwan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McSwan family to the New World and Oceana
Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine
during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name McSwan:
McSwan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Mary McSwan, aged 20, who arrived in America, in 1893
- Grace McSwan, aged 21, who arrived in America, in 1897
McSwan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- John McSwan, aged 60, who arrived in America from Glasgow, in 1905
- Norman McSwan, aged 4, who arrived in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1906
- Kenneth McSwan, aged 50, who arrived in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1906
- John McSwan, aged 30, who arrived in America from Hamilton, Scotland, in 1910
- Peter McSwan, aged 29, who arrived in America from Paisley, Scotland, in 1912
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)