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

Where did the German Schwab family come from? What is the German Schwab family crest and coat of arms? When did the Schwab family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Schwab family history?

The Schwab family name first began to be used in the German state of Bavaria. After the 12th century, as hereditary surnames began to be adopted, names that were derived from locations became particularly common. The family name Schwab is a local surname. Originally denoting the proprietorship of an estate or influence within a village, the German preposition von, which means from or of, used with local names, was taken as a mark of aristocracy. The surname Schwab was given to someone who lived in Swabia, a medieval dukedom that was in southwestern Germany. This is a regional name for a person who was form Swabia having derived from the Germanic word Schwaben, which means Swabian and is derived from the name of the Germanic tribe that inhabited this region. The Latin form of the tribal name is Suebi or Suevi.


Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Schwab include Schwab, Schwabe, Schwabel, Schwebel, Swab and others.

First found in Franconia and later Mecklenburg, where the name became prominent as many branches of the same house acquired distant estates, some in foreign countries such as Austria. They were always elevating their social status by intermarriage and by their great contributions to society. The name Schwab has been traced to Mecklenburg as early as 1298, when Ulrich Schwab, the first Count of Nemerow, lived. Chronicles also mention Christian Schwabel in Franconia in 1414.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Schwab research. Another 292 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1540, 1575, 1615, 1645, 1714, 1784, 1810, and 1840 are included under the topic Early Schwab History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Schwab Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


The great European flow of migration to North America, which began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century, was particularly attractive to those from Bavaria who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. For many Bavarian tenant farmers, the chance to own their own land was a major incentive. So the widespread colonization of the United States began in 1650, when many immigrants from Germany settled in pockets in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. In Canada, German settlement centered in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were:

Schwab Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Anna Elisabeth Schwab, who arrived in Pennsylvania sometime between 1692 and 1712

Schwab Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Conrad Schwab and Philip Schwab, both of whom came to America in 1709
  • Hans Otta Schwab, who landed in New York in 1709
  • Anna Maria Schwab, who arrived in America in 1720
  • Jost Schwab, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1720
  • Johann Georg Schwab, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1727

Schwab Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Gustav Schwab, who landed in North America in 1832-1849
  • Louise Schwab, who landed in North America in 1832-1849
  • Joh Christoph Schwab, who arrived in North America in 1832-1849
  • Justus Schwab, who landed in Mississippi in 1836
  • Jonh Adam Schwab, aged 35, landed in Missouri in 1840

Schwab Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Alfred John Schwab, who arrived in Wisconsin in 1922

Schwab Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Adam Schwab, a Hessian mercenary in the American War for Independence, who was on record in Virginia, Quebec, and Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1780s


  • Charles Michael Schwab (1862-1939), American president of the Carnegie Steel Company in 1897, and after World War I was president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Charles R Schwab (b. 1937), American founder and CEO of the Charles Schwab Corporation
  • Private First Class Albert Earnest Schwab (1920-1945), American soldier awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945 for his heroic actions during the Battle of Okinawa
  • Andreas Schwab (b. 1973), German politician and Member of the European Parliament
  • Werner Schwab (1958-1994), Austrian playwright and visual artist
  • Klaus Schwab (b. 1938), Swiss economist, founder of the World Economic Forum
  • Hubert Schwab (b. 1982), Swiss professional road bicycle racer


  • The Swope Family Book of Remembrance: a History of the Origins of the First Schwab, Schwob, Swope Families in Early Lancaster County, Pennsylvania by Emily Swope Morse.

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  1. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  2. Strassburger, Ralph B. Pennsylvania German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
  3. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
  4. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  5. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Schwab Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Schwab 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 8 April 2015 at 13:52.

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