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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The ancestors of the Swayze family brought their name to England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Yorkshire, at Swale.

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The surname Swayze 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]

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Swayze were recorded, including S Wales, Swale, Swalles, Swaile, Swailles, Swailes and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swayze research. Another 171 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 166 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Swayze History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Swayze Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Swayze arrived in North America very early:

Swayze Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Elizah Swayze, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798

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  • Isaac Swayze (1751-1828), American-born, Canadian captain during the War of 1812, politician and pioneer nurseryman, eponym of the Swayze Pomme Gris apple
  • Patrick Swayze (1952-2009), American three-time Golden Globe Award nominated actor, best known for his leading roles the hit films Dirty Dancing and Ghost
  • John Cameron Swayze (1906-1995), American two-time Primetime Emmy Award nominated news commentator
  • Marc Swayze, American comic book writer
  • Don Swayze (b. 1958), American actor and stunt person, younger brother of the late Patrick Swayze


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

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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  5. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  6. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  8. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  9. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Swayze Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Swayze 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 18 February 2016 at 14:08.

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