Swaby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Swaby reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Swaby family lived in Lincolnshire, at Swaby, a parish, in the union of Louth, Marsh division of the hundred of Calceworth, parts of Lindsey. [1] The Domesday Book of 1086 lists the village as Suabi. [2] The place name literally means "farmstead or village of a man called Svan," from the Viking personal name + "by." [3]

Early Origins of the Swaby family

The surname Swaby was first found in Lincolnshire at Swaby and it is here that the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 recorded Roger de Swaby as holding lands at that time. [4]

Philip de Swaby was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire in 1219 and later, Walter de Swaby was listed in the Feet of Fines for Lincolnshire in 1263. [5]

Early History of the Swaby family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swaby research. Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1584, 1952 and 1767 are included under the topic Early Swaby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Swaby Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Swaby family name include Swaby, Swabey, Swabie, Swabee, Swebie, Swebe and many more.

Early Notables of the Swaby family (pre 1700)

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


United States Swaby migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Swaby family to immigrate North America:

Swaby Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph James Swaby who landed in America in 1750
Swaby Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Jan Swaby, aged 34, who arrived in America, in 1895
  • Maria Swaby, aged 30, who arrived in America, in 1895
Swaby Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Anna B. Swaby, who arrived in America, in 1904
  • Errol Swaby, aged 23, who arrived in America from Mandeville, Jamaica, in 1913
  • Caleb Swaby, aged 27, who arrived in America from Port Antonio, Jamaica, in 1917
  • Donald Swaby, aged 28, who arrived in America from Havana, Cuba, in 1919
  • Nora Ellen Swaby, aged 21, who arrived in America from St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, in 1920
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Swaby migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Swaby Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Annie Swaby, aged 20, a housemaid, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Douglas" in 1873

Contemporary Notables of the name Swaby (post 1700) +

  • Donn Swaby (b. 1973), American actor, best known for his role on the television soap opera Passions
  • William Proctor Swaby FRGS (1844-1916), English colonial Anglican bishop, Bishop of Guyana (1893- 1900) and Bishop of Barbados (1900-1916)
  • Lee Swaby (b. 1976), English professional heavyweight boxer from Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • James Swaby, Jamaican 'free mulatto,' one of the first non-white commissioned officers in the British Army in 1829; he inherited substantial estates and became a wealthy planter and slave owner
  • Mario Swaby (b. 1982), Jamaican international footballer
  • Horace Swaby (1954-1999), also known as Augustus Pablo, a Jamaican roots reggae and dub record producer, melodica player and keyboardist
  • John Cyril Emerson Swaby CBE (1905-1975), Jamaican Anglican Bishop of Jamaica (1968-1975)


The Swaby Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Vera Tropae Fides
Motto Translation: Faith is our true trophy.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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