A multitude of prestigious family names, such as the surname Shwahn, were formed in the lands which became the modern German state of Prussia
, known for its beauty, industry and military power. However, in the medieval era, Prussia
was fragmented and inhabited by numerous barbarian tribes, who fought amongst themselves for control of the land. The borders of the barbarian kingdoms, which were established after the fall of the Roman Empire
, changed repeatedly. The region that came to be known as Prussia
was roughly divided between the territories of Brandenburg-Prussia
, West Prussia
and East Prussia
The Shwahn family emerged in Brandenburg-Prussia, which is essentially the birthplace of modern Germany
. By the 19th century, Brandenburg-Prussia
had incorporated East Prussia
, West Prussia
and many other German territories. Moreover, in the late 19th century, it led the German states in the unification of Germany.
Early Origins of the Shwahn family
The surname Shwahn was first found in Mecklenburg, in the western Baltic region, where the name was closely identified in early mediaeval times, as early as 1202, with the feudal
society which would become prominent throughout European history. Old Mecklenburg chronicles mention Carston von Schwan in 1202 and Heinrich von Schwan, court tutor (Hofmeister) to the Duke of Mecklenburg, in 1248. In 1413 the Knight, Carl von Schwan, accompanied the Bishop Sigismund to Camin to the historical Council of Costnitz. The name would later be associated with a noble family with great influence, having many distinguished branches in the eastern provinces of Pomerania and Meissen. They became noted for their involvement in social, economic and political affairs, giving the name Schwan to a city near the port of Rostock.
Early History of the Shwahn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shwahn research.Another 249 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1679, 1563, 1610, 1810, 1882, 1729 and 1760 are included under the topic Early Shwahn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Shwahn Spelling Variations
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 Shwahn include Schwan, Schwann, Schwahn and others.
Early Notables of the Shwahn family (pre 1700)
Prominent bearers of the family name Shwahn during this time period were Michael Schwenke (1563-1610), was a German sculptor from Pirna, Saxony
. Theodor Schwann (1810-1882), who was one of the most important biologists of the 19th century, mainly... Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shwahn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Shwahn family to the New World and Oceana
The state of Prussia
was a great influence on the shape of modern Germany
. After the Second World War, Prussia's land was divided among the Soviet Union
, Poland, East Germany
and West Germany
and the state was abolished. Some Prussians remained in those countries after the war, while many others migrated to North America in search of a new start. Philadelphia was their primary point of entry to the United States, after which many of them moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. A large number of Prussians also migrated to Ontario and the prairie provinces as United Empire Loyalists. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Shwahns to arrive in North America, and among them were: John Schwan, who emigrated to England
and/or America in 1709. Johann Schwan, age 36, and Johann Heinrich Schwan, age 24, who both came to Canada in 1783.