A multitude of prestigious family names, such as the surname Shwann, 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 Shwann 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 Shwann family
The surname Shwann 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 Shwann family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shwann 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 Shwann History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Shwann Spelling Variations
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 Shwann include Schwan, Schwann, Schwahn and others.
Early Notables of the Shwann family (pre 1700)
Prominent bearers of the family name Shwann 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 Shwann Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Shwann family to the New World and Oceana
played an extremely influential role in shaping modern German history. It remained a part of Germany
until after the Second World War. Prussia
was divided among the Soviet Union
, Poland, East Germany
and West Germany
. Many Prussians became residents of these new countries after the War, and many migrated to other parts of Germany
or Europe, as well as to North America. In the United States, the majority of settlers landed in Philadelphia, and moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Many German settlers also migrated to Canada, particularly to Ontario and the Prairies. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Shwann 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.