Sweany History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name Sweany is Mac Suibhne, which is derived from the word "suibhne," which means "pleasant."

Early Origins of the Sweany family

The surname Sweany was first found in County Donegal (Irish: Dún na nGall), northwest Ireland in the province of Ulster, sometimes referred to as County Tyrconnel. The name is derived from Suibhne O'Neill, who was a chieftain in Argyll, Scotland. His descendants migrated to Ireland as gallowglasses (mercenaries) prior to 1267. The three great septs of this name finally established themselves in Tirconnell in 14th century; they were known as MacSweeney Fanad, MacSweeney Banagh, and MacSweeney na dTuath, who were commonly referred to as 'MacSweeney of the Battleaxes.' They later became attached to the MacCarthys in the south and acquired their own territories and castles in Muskerry in County Cork.

Early History of the Sweany family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sweany research. Another 69 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1299 and 1310 are included under the topic Early Sweany History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sweany Spelling Variations

Names from the Middle Ages demonstrate many spelling variations. This is because the recording scribe or church official often decided as to how a person's name was spelt and in what language. Research into the name Sweany revealed many variations, including MacSweeney, MacSweeny, MacSwine, MacSwiney, MacSwyne, MacSwyny, MacWhinney, MacWhinny, MacWhinnie, MacSwiny, McSweeney, Swiney, Swinney and many more.

Early Notables of the Sweany family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was John MacSween, a 13th-14th century nobleman who lost his lands in Scotland after the defeat of the forces and death of Alexander Og MacDonald, Lord of Islay in 1299. In...
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sweany Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Sweany migration to the United States +

The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute due to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United States and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Sweany family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Sweany Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Sweany, who landed in America in 1795 [1]
Sweany Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Sweany, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848 [1]
Sweany Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Frances V. Sweany, aged 41, who immigrated to the United States, in 1909
  • Roland R. Sweany, aged 12, who landed in America, in 1909
  • Wilbur A. Sweany, aged 41, who settled in America, in 1909
  • Baruck W. Sweany, aged 42, who landed in America, in 1910

Australia Sweany migration to Australia +

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

Sweany Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Sweany, aged 47, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Lord Raglan" [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Sweany (post 1700) +

  • Patrick Sweany (b. 1974), American Blues-rock musician


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ South Australian Register Friday February 7th, 1856. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Lord Raglan 1856. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/lordraglan1856.shtml


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