The roots of the Swahn family name are in ancient Scotland
with the Viking settlers. Swahn was derived from the Old English personal name Swein,
which was originally derived from the Old Norse name Sveinn.
This was one of the most common Scandinavian names in medieval Britain. Another source claims the name was an occupational
name for someone "who acted as a servant or attendant; one who tended swine; descendant of Swain (young man, or boy servant)." CITATION[CLOSE]
Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
Early Origins of the Swahn family
The surname Swahn was first found in Lanarkshire
(Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig) a former county in the central Strathclyde region of Scotland
, now divided into the Council Areas of North Lanarkshire
, South Lanarkshire, and the City of Glasgow, from very early times.
Further south in England, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed early spelling of the family: John le Swein and Robert le Swein in Oxfordshire; and Geoffrey le Sueyn in Norfolk. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 lists: Robertus Swaynne. CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
"The ancient name of Swain, which is now best represented in Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, and Devonshire, was established in the form of Sweyn, rarely of Swayn, during the 13th century in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, and Oxfordshire, being most numerous in the last two counties. " CITATION[CLOSE]
Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
Early History of the Swahn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swahn research.Another 394 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1100, 1214, 1250, 1499, 1521, 1585, 1690, 1680 and are included under the topic Early Swahn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Swahn Spelling Variations
Sound and intuition were the main things that scribes in the Middle Ages relied on when spelling and translating names. Since those factors varied, so did the spelling of the names. Spelling variations
of the name Swahn include Swan, Swann, Swanner, Swani, Swayne, Swein, Sweing, Sweyn and many more.
Early Notables of the Swahn family (pre 1700)
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Swahn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Swahn family to Ireland
Some of the Swahn family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 116 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Swahn family to the New World and Oceana
In North America, the monarchy was thousands of miles away and Scots were free to settle on their own land and practice their own beliefs. The American War of Independence
provided an opportunity for these settlers to pay back the English monarchy and forge a new nation. Recently, this heritage has survived through North American highland games and Clan
societies. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Swahn or a variant listed above:
Swahn Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Adolph Swahn, who arrived in Wisconsin in 1920 CITATION[CLOSE]
Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
Contemporary Notables of the name Swahn (post 1700)
- Oscar Swahn (1847-1927), Swedish winner of three gold, one sliver, and two bronze Olympic medals for shooting at the 1908, 1912, and 1920 games
- Alfred Swahn (1879-1931), Swedish winner of three gold, three sliver, and three bronze Olympic medals for shooting at the 1908, 1912, 1920, and 1924 games
The Swahn 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 Translation: Fidelity.