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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

The Schwalm family name first began to be used in the German state of Bavaria. After the 12th century, hereditary surnames were adopted according to fairly general rules, and names that were derived from locations became particularly common. The family name Schwalm 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 Schwalm 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.


The surname Schwalm was 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.

In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Schwalm include Schwab, Schwabe, Schwabel, Schwebel, Swab and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Schwalm 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 Schwalm History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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


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:

Schwalm Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Abraham Schwalm, who landed in America in 1743
  • Chretien Schwalm, who landed in America in 1777-1783
  • Jean Schwalm, who landed in New York, NY in 1782

Schwalm Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Henry Schwalm, who arrived in Maryland in 1842
  • Louis Schwalm, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1845
  • Ludwig Schwalm, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1845
  • Peter Schwalm, who landed in Mississippi in 1859
  • Andreas Schwalm, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1871

  • Clarence Schwalm, American Republican politician, Candidate for Missouri State House of Representatives from Buchanan County 3rd District, 1954

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    Other References

    1. Neubecker, Ottfried. Wappen-Bilder-Lexikon der bürgerlichen Geschlechter Deutschlands, Oesterreichs und der Schweiz. Battenberg, München: 1985. Print.
    2. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Journeys German Immigration, Settlement and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
    3. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
    4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    5. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    7. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
    8. Bahlow, Hans (Edda Gentry trns). Dictionary of German Names . Madison, Wisconsin: Max Kade Institute, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-924119-35-7).
    9. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
    10. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
    11. ...

    The Schwalm Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Schwalm 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 24 January 2016 at 14:30.

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