Swaine History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The saga of the name Swaine begins among the Viking settlers who arrived in Scotland in the medieval era. The name Swaine is 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)." [1]

Sweyn or Svein (d. 1014), was "King of England and Denmark, called Forkbeard, son of Harold Blaatand, King of Denmark, probably by his Queen Gunhild, though it was said that his mother was a Slav, a servant in the house of Palna-Toki, or Tokko, in Funen. " [2]

Earl Sweyn or Swegen (d. 1052), "the eldest son of Earl Godwin or Godwine and his wife Gytha, was early in 1043, when Edward or Eadward, called the Confessor, had become king, appointed to an earldom that was partly Mercian and partly West-Saxon, for it included Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, and Somerset. " [2]

Early Origins of the Swaine family

The surname Swaine 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. [3]

"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. " [4]

Early History of the Swaine family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swaine research. Another 204 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1100, 1214, 1250, 1499, 1521, 1585, 1690, 1680, 1542, 1609, 1540, 1550, 1510 and are included under the topic Early Swaine History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Swaine Spelling Variations

Contemporary spellings of ancient Scottish names often bear little resemblance to the original recorded versions. These spelling variations result from the fact that medieval scribes spelled words and names alike according to their sounds. Swaine has been spelled Swan, Swann, Swanner, Swani, Swayne, Swein, Sweing, Sweyn and many more.

Early Notables of the Swaine family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Charles Swan (killed 1690), who was forced into piracy by his crew in the 1680s. He was killed when he attempted to escape back to England on a Dutch ship with five thousand pounds. Robert Some...
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Swaine Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Swaine family to Ireland

Some of the Swaine family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 70 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Swaine migration to the United States +

The colonies on the fertile east coast of North America soon had many farms run by Scots. These hardy settlers provided a backbone for the great nations of the United States and Canada that would emerge in the next centuries. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Scottish name Swaine or a variant listed above, including:

Swaine Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Stephen Swaine, who landed in Virginia in 1634 [5]
  • Tho Swaine, who arrived in Virginia in 1638 [5]
  • Pet Swaine, who arrived in Virginia in 1650 [5]
  • James Swaine, who arrived in Maryland in 1657 [5]
  • John Swaine, who landed in Maryland in 1665 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Swaine Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Elfin Swaine, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [5]
  • William Swaine, who landed in America in 1765 [5]
  • Edward Swaine, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1772 [5]
Swaine Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Swaine, who landed in New York in 1803 [5]
  • Barbara Swaine, aged 28, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1832 [5]

Canada Swaine migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Swaine Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Henry Swaine, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Humphry Swaine, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Humphry Swaine, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Joseph Swaine, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Ann Swaine, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Swaine migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Swaine Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

New Zealand Swaine 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:

Swaine Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Edward Swaine, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alma" in 1857
  • Eliza Swaine, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alma" in 1857

Contemporary Notables of the name Swaine (post 1700) +

  • Elizabeth "Liz" Swaine (b. 1960), American journalist and former civil servant
  • Howard R. Swaine, American politician, Mayor of Marquette, Michigan, 1977 [9]
  • John Swaine (1775-1860), English draughtsman and engraver, son of John and Margaret Swaine, born at Stanwell, Middlesex
  • Francis Swaine (1725-1782), British marine painter, several of his works are in the National Maritime Museum in London
  • Major-General Sir Leopold Victor Swaine KCB CMG (1840-1931), British army officer
  • Sir John Joseph Swaine CBE, QC, JP, LLD, (b. 1932), President of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong from 1993 to 1995
  • Francis Swaine Muhlenberg (1795-1831), American politician, Representative from Ohio 6th District, 1828-29 [10]


The Swaine 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: Fidelitas
Motto Translation: Fidelity.


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Argyle voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1831 with 251 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/argyle/1831
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anson voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1843 with 499 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/anson/1843
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 27) Angelina voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1844 with 171 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/angelina/1844
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 27) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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