Oswald History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Oswald comes from a place name. The roots of this Scottish place name; however date back to the great movement of the Norse Vikings. The ancestors of the Oswald family lived in Caithness. This ancient family claim descent from the Norse Asbaldr, but sometimes records show that the name may have been derived from the personal name Oswald which is made up of the Old English elements os meaning "god," and weald or "rule." [1]

"The most famous historical bearer of this name was the Northumbrian Christian King Oswald who fell A.D. 642 in a battle with Penda, king of the Mercians. This battle is traditionally reputed to have taken place at or near Oswestry, formerly Oswaldestre, i.e. Oswald's Cross, which the Welsh called by their equivalent Croes Oswallt. The locality does not, however, seem to be a likely one for a conflict between Northumbrian and Mercian troops. " [2]

"When his father was defeated and slain by Rædwald in 617, he and his brothers were driven out of Northumbria, and Oswald, accompanied by a band of young nobles, took shelter with the Scots in Iona, where he was converted to Christianity and baptised. " [3]

Early Origins of the Oswald family

The surname Oswald was first found in Caithness (Gaelic: Gallaibh), the northern tip of Scotland, a Norse/Viking controlled region from the 9th century, which became the Earldom of Caithness, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the ancient Kings of Scotland to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

"The Oswalds of Caithness are descended from James Oswald of Kirkwall, d.c. 1660, and a family of this name has been for more than two centuries resident in Fife." [4]

To the south in England, it was "a very early personal name; compare Oswald Kirk, a parish in Yorkshire. 'Osewold the Reve': Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales." [5]

Looking back further the Domesday Book of 1086 includes early Latin forms of the name Osuuald, Osuuoldus in Somerset and Surrey respectively. Robertus filius Oswaldi was found in Norfolk in 1240 and much later, John Oswald was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1327. [6]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Simon Aswald, Oxfordshire, 1273 and the Writs of Parliament of 1325 included John Oswald, Gloucestershire, 1325. [5]

Early History of the Oswald family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Oswald research. Another 107 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 189 and are included under the topic Early Oswald History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Oswald Spelling Variations

Spelling and translation were quite undeveloped in the Middle Ages. Consequently, the spelling of Scottish names was an inconsistent practice, usually governed by the unique ear of the scribe recording the name. Over the years, Oswald was spelled Oswald, Oswalde, Oswold, Oswolde, Oswell and others.

Early Notables of the Oswald family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Saint Oswald (d. 972), Archbishop of York. He was a nephew on his father's side of Archbishop Odo, and related to Oskytel, Archbishop of York, was brought up under the care of Odo, and was instructed by Frithefode. "Having taken orders, he was enabled by Odo's liberality to purchase the monastery of Winchester, then in the hands of secular clerks or canons, over whom he ruled. Being zealous in piety and persuaded of the excellence of monastic life, he was discontented with his life as a secular clerk, and with his position as...
Another 107 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Oswald Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Oswald Ranking

In the United States, the name Oswald is the 3,361st most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [7] However, in France, the name Oswald is ranked the 6,120th most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Oswald family to Ireland

Some of the Oswald family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Oswald migration to the United States +

Opportunity and land greeted those who made it all the way. Some had the opportunity to solidify their new freedom by fighting in the American War of Independence, while others went or stayed north as United Empire Loyalists. Recently, the ancestors of those brave settlers have been able to recover much of their heritage through Clan societies and other patriotic organizations. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name Oswald:

Oswald Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Andrew Oswald, aged 22, who landed in Virginia in 1684 [9]
Oswald Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Henry Oswald who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1732
  • Hendryk Oswald, aged 20, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1735 [9]
  • Henrich Oswald, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1735 [9]
  • Richard Oswald, who arrived in Georgia in 1751 [9]
  • Hans Jacob Oswald, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1753 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Oswald Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Barbara Oswald, who settled in New York state in 1835
  • Cath Oswald, aged 28, who landed in New York, NY in 1847 [9]
  • Jacob Oswald, aged 26, who landed in New York, NY in 1848 [9]
  • Frederic Oswald, aged 31, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1850 [9]
  • Vinzenz Oswald, who landed in America in 1853 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Oswald Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Henry Oswald, who arrived in Alabama in 1918 [9]

Canada Oswald migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Oswald Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Atwood Oswald U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784 [10]
Oswald Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Friedrich Oswald, aged 33, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1902
  • Margaretha Oswald, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1902
  • Regina Oswald, aged 28, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1902
  • Rosina Oswald, aged 3, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1902

Australia Oswald migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Oswald Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Oswald, English convict who was convicted in Kent, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "David Lyon" on 29th April 1830, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [11]
  • Ferdinand Oswald, aged 30, a merchant, who arrived in South Australia in 1847 aboard the ship "Hermann von Beckerath" [12]

New Zealand Oswald 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:

Oswald Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Hugh G. Oswald, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Annie Wilson" in 1863
  • Mr. William Oswald, (b. 1852), aged 22, British settler travelling from England aboard the ship "Varuna" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 27th May 1874 [13]
  • Sarah Oswald, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "British Empire" in 1880

Contemporary Notables of the name Oswald (post 1700) +

  • Stephen Scot Oswald (b. 1951), former NASA astronaut with 3 shuttle missions and over 33 days in space [14]
  • John Wieland Oswald (b. 1917), President of the University of Kentucky (1963-68), the Vice-President of the University of California (1968-70), and the President of Pennsylvania State University (1970-)
  • Rudolph Alfonsus Oswald (b. 1932), President of the Industrial Relations Research Association in Washington
  • William L. Oswald, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Albany County 4th District, 1863-64 [15]
  • Maude T. Oswald, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 1940 [15]
  • Louis William Oswald, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Illinois 11th District, 1946 [15]
  • Louis Oswald Jr., American Democratic Party politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State Senate 24th District, 1950 [15]
  • Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Julian Robertson Oswald (b. 1933), Scottish Royal Navy officer, Chief of the Naval Staff and First Sea Lord
  • Ian Oswald (b. 1929), Scottish psychiatrist, sleep researcher, and professor at the University of Edinburgh
  • James Oswald (1711-1769), Scottish composer and music publisher
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Oswald Motto +

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: Forti favet coelum
Motto Translation: Heaven favours the brave

  1. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  7. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  8. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  9. ^ 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)
  10. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd June 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/david-lyon
  12. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HERMANN VON BECKERATH 1847. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1847HermanVonBeckerath.htm
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ NASA Astronauts Homepage. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Stephen Oswald. Retrieved from http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/oswald.html
  15. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html

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