Swam History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The descendents of Viking settlers in ancient Scotland were the first to use the name Swam. It 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)." 
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. " 
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. " 
Early Origins of the Swam family
The surname Swam 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. 
"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. " 
Early History of the Swam family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swam 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 Swam History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Swam Spelling Variations
Intuition and sound were the primary sources medieval scribes used to judge appropriate spellings and translations for names. The spelling of a name thus varied according to who was doing the recording. The different spelling variations of Swam include Swan, Swann, Swanner, Swani, Swayne, Swein, Sweing, Sweyn and many more.
Early Notables of the Swam 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.
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Swam Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Swam family to Ireland
Some of the Swam 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.
Swam migration to the United States +
In their new home, Scots found land and opportunity, and some even fought for their new freedom in the American War of Independence. Some, who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In this century, the ancestors of both of these groups have begun recovering their illustrious national heritage through Clan societies and other Scottish historical organizations. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the Swam name:
Swam Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Samll Swam, who arrived in Virginia in 1634 
Swam Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Hammond Swam, aged 25, who landed in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1830 
Related Stories +
The Swam 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.
- ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
- ^ 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)