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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: Scottish, Swedish

Where did the Scottish Swayne family come from? What is the Scottish Swayne family crest and coat of arms? When did the Swayne family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Swayne family history?

The saga of the name Swayne begins among the Viking settlers who arrived in Scotland in the medieval era. The name Swayne 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.

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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. Swayne has been spelled Swan, Swann, Swanner, Swani, Swayne, Swein, Sweing, Sweyn and many more.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swayne research. Another 405 words(29 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1100, 1214, 1250, 1499, 1521, 1585, 1690 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Swayne History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 73 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Swayne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Swayne family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 127 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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 Swayne or a variant listed above, including:

Swayne Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Ann Swayne, aged 22, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Elizabeth Swayne, aged 15, arrived in New England in 1635
  • Francis Swayne, aged 14, landed in New England in 1635
  • Richard Swayne, aged 34, arrived in America in 1635
  • Tho Swayne, aged 23, arrived in Virginia in 1635


Swayne Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Patrick Swayne, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843

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  • Noah Haynes Swayne (1804-1884), American jurist and politician
  • Wager Swayne (1834-1902), American Union Army general
  • Kevin Swayne (b. 1975), American football wide receiver
  • Charles H. Swayne (1842-1907), United States federal judge
  • Harry Swayne, American professional offensive tackle
  • Desmond Angus Swayne (b. 1956), British Conservative Party politician
  • Giles Oliver Cairnes Swayne (b. 1946), British composer
  • Lieutenant General Sir John George des Reaux Swayne (1890-1964), British General Officer Commanding South-East Command
  • The Rt Rev William Shuckburgh Swayne (1862-1941), English eminent Anglican priest and author
  • Geraldine Swayne, British painter, musician, and filmmaker

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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.

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  1. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  2. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  5. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  8. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  9. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  10. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Swayne Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Swayne Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 21 June 2013 at 14:14.

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