Show ContentsSuathan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Suathan surname came to Ireland from Britain with the Anglo-Norman (Strongbow) invasion of the 12th century. The surname Suathan is derived from the Old English word "swete," which meant "sweet," "pleasant," or "agreeable;" along with the suffix -man. As such, it was a nickname surname, created for a popular person. Most of the native Irish surnames were patronymics created from the Gaelic names of an ancestor, and some of the Anglo-Norman naming practices of these settlers were seen as rather unusual. The Gaelic form of the surname Suathan is Suatman.

Early Origins of the Suathan family

The surname Suathan was first found in County Killkenny, where they settled about the year 1177 where they were granted lands originally belonging to the native Irish for their contribution to the defeat of the Irish by Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke.

One of the first records of the family was Milo Sweetman (died 1380), Archbishop of Armagh, "a native of Ireland, came of an Anglo-Irish family. A Maurice Sweetman was Archdeacon of Armagh in 1365. Milo was appointed treasurer of the cathedral of Ossory or Kilkenny before 1360, in which year the chapter elected him bishop of that diocese. " [1]

While the name is now generally regarded as Irish, not all of the family emigrated to Ireland with Strongbow. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: Swetman (without surname), Oxfordshire; Swetman filius Edith, Oxfordshire; Swetman de Helignam, Norfolk; Sweteman Textor, Buckinghamshire; and Adam Swetman, Oxfordshire, 1273. [2]

Another source notes that the parish of Swettenham is in the union of Congleton, hundred of Northwich, Cheshire. [3] This parish derives its name from "the servant of Swet (sweet); one who came from Swettenham (Sweta's homestead.)" [4]

Early History of the Suathan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Suathan research. Another 60 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1584, 1874, 1380, 1360 and 1361 are included under the topic Early Suathan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Suathan Spelling Variations

Medieval scribes and church officials spelt names simply the way they sounded, which explains the various name spelling variations of the name Suathan that were encountered when researching that surname. The many spelling variations included: Suatman, Sweetman, Swetman and others.

Early Notables of the Suathan family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Suathan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Suathan family

Irish immigration to North American began in the late 18th century as many Irish families desired to own their own land. This pattern of immigration grew slowly yet steadily until the 1840s. At that time, a failed crop and a growing population in Ireland resulted in the Great Potato Famine. Poverty, disease, and starvation ravaged the land. To ease their pain and suffering the Irish often looked upon North America as a solution: hundreds of thousands undertook the voyage. Their arrival meant the growth of industry and commerce for British North America and the United States. For the individual Irishman, it meant survival and hope, and the opportunity for work, freedom, and ownership of land. The early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Suathan: Margeret Sweetman settled in Virginia in 1656; Ann Sweetman settled in Annapolis, Maryland in 1722; M.C. Sweetman settled in Charleston South Carolina in 1794.

  1. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print on Facebook