Swales History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Swales is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Swales family lived in Yorkshire, at Swale.

Early Origins of the Swales family

The surname S Wales was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Swale from ancient times. Although the Manor does not appear in the Domesday Book in 1086 the first recorded date is of John Swale who held the Lordship. He married Alice, daughter of Gilbert de Gaunt, and related to John of Gaunt about 1150.

At this time he held the manor of West Grenton or Grinton in Swaledale. South Stainley in the West Riding of Yorkshire was an ancient family seat. "This place was the property of Sir Solomon Swale, who suffered severely for his loyalty during the parliamentary war, and was presented with the first baronetcy conferred after the Restoration. Sir Solomon, in those unsettled times, having neglected to sue out a renewal of the lease by which he held some property under the crown, a chancery clerk, noticing the omission, obtained it for himself, and involved the Baronet in a litigation which, in a few years, ended in his becoming a prisoner in the king's bench, where he died of a broken heart. Stainley Hall, the ancient family seat, is now a ruin." [1]

Early History of the Swales family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swales research. Another 86 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1660, 1545, 1608, 1545, 1603, 1606 and 1608 are included under the topic Early Swales History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Swales 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 Swales family name include S Wales, Swale, Swalles, Swaile, Swailles, Swailes and many more.

Early Notables of the Swales family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Richard Swale (1545?-1608), English civilian, born in Yorkshire about 1545, son of Thomas Swale of Askham-Richard in Yorkshire. "Swale was knighted by James I at Whitehall on 23 July 1603. On 28 May 1606...
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Swales Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States S Wales 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 Swales family to immigrate North America:

Swales Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Swales who settled in St. Christopher in 1635
  • Geo S Wales, aged 19, who arrived in St Christopher in 1635 [2]
Swales Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Henry Swales, aged 41, who landed in Virginia in 1813 [2]
  • Thomas Swales, who arrived in Morgan County, Illinois in 1835 [2]
  • Catherine Swales, aged 31, who landed in America from England, in 1892
  • Mary Swales, aged 49, who landed in America from England, in 1892
  • Thomas Swales, aged 18, who settled in America, in 1895
Swales Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Emily Swales, aged 50, who settled in America from Derbyshire, in 1903
  • Albert Wn. Swales, aged 45, who landed in America from Rarrow Leviners, England., in 1908
  • Ernest Swales, aged 38, who immigrated to the United States from Openshaw, England, in 1909
  • James Conney Swales, aged 16, who landed in America from Barrow in Furness, England, in 1910
  • John R. Swales, aged 21, who immigrated to America from Barrow in Furness, England, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Swales 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:

Swales Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Swales, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Josephine Willis" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th February 1855 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name S Wales (post 1700) +

  • Peter J. Swales (b. 1948), Welsh historian of psychoanalysis and former assistant to the Rolling Stones
  • Penelope S Wales, Australian songwriter, singer and musician [4]
  • Kim Swales, British Professor of Economics
  • John Malcolm Swales (b. 1938), British linguist
  • Ian Cameron Swales (b. 1953), British Liberal Democrat politician
  • Captain Edwin Swales VC, DFC (1915-1945), South African pilot awarded the Victoria Cross during WWII [5]


The Swales 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: Jesu, esto mihi Jesus
Motto Translation: Jesus, be my Savior


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ Penelope Swales. (Retrieved 2011, May 19) Penelope Swales. Retrieved from http://www.penelopeswales.com/
  5. ^ World War 2 Awards.com - SWALES, Edwin. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Edwin Swales. Retrieved from http://www.ww2awards.com/person/160


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