Sweetman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Sweetman surname came to Ireland from Britain with the Anglo-Norman (Strongbow) invasion of the 12th century. The surname Sweetman is derived from the Old English word "swete," which meant "sweet," "pleasant," or "agreeable;" along with the suffix -man. As such, it was a nickname surname, created for a popular person. Most of the native Irish surnames were patronymics created from the Gaelic names of an ancestor, and some of the Anglo-Norman naming practices of these settlers were seen as rather unusual. The Gaelic form of the surname Sweetman is Suatman.

Early Origins of the Sweetman family

The surname Sweetman was first found in County Killkenny, where they settled about the year 1177 where they were granted lands originally belonging to the native Irish for their contribution to the defeat of the Irish by Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke.

One of the first records of the family was Milo Sweetman (died 1380), Archbishop of Armagh, "a native of Ireland, came of an Anglo-Irish family. A Maurice Sweetman was Archdeacon of Armagh in 1365. Milo was appointed treasurer of the cathedral of Ossory or Kilkenny before 1360, in which year the chapter elected him bishop of that diocese. " [1]

While the name is now generally regarded as Irish, not all of the family emigrated to Ireland with Strongbow. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: Swetman (without surname), Oxfordshire; Swetman filius Edith, Oxfordshire; Swetman de Helignam, Norfolk; Sweteman Textor, Buckinghamshire; and Adam Swetman, Oxfordshire, 1273. [2]

Another source notes that the parish of Swettenham is in the union of Congleton, hundred of Northwich, Cheshire. [3] This parish derives its name from "the servant of Swet (sweet); one who came from Swettenham (Sweta's homestead.)" [4]

Early History of the Sweetman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sweetman research. Another 60 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1584, 1874, 1380, 1360 and 1361 are included under the topic Early Sweetman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sweetman Spelling Variations

Church officials and medieval scribes often spelled early surnames as they sounded. This practice often resulted in many spelling variations of even a single name. Early versions of the name Sweetman included: Suatman, Sweetman, Swetman and others.

Early Notables of the Sweetman family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Sweetman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sweetman Ranking

In the United States, the name Sweetman is the 16,321st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

United States Sweetman migration to the United States +

Ireland experienced a dramatic decrease in its population during the 19th century. This was in a great measure, a response to England's imperialistic policies. Hunger and disease took the lives of many Irish people and many more chose to leave their homeland to escape the horrific conditions. North America with its promise of work, freedom, and land was an extremely popular destination for Irish families. For those families that survived the journey, all three of these things were often attained through much hard work and perseverance. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name Sweetman:

Sweetman Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Sweetman, who landed in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1638 [6]
  • Margaret Sweetman, who landed in Virginia in 1653 [6]
  • Margeret Sweetman, who settled in Virginia in 1656
  • William Sweetman, who landed in Maryland in 1668 [6]
Sweetman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Ann Sweetman, who settled in Annapolis, Maryland in 1722
  • M. C. Sweetman, who settled in Charleston South Carolina in 1794
Sweetman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Catharine Sweetman, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [6]
  • James Sweetman, who landed in New York in 1842 [6]
  • George, Jacob, John, Patrick, and Samuel Sweetman all, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, between 1856 and 1868
  • John Sweetman, aged 29, who arrived in New York, NY in 1857 [6]
  • Michael Sweetman, who arrived in New York, NY in 1860 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sweetman Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Edith Maud Sweetman, aged 44, originally from Church, Lancashire, England, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Baltic" from Liverpool, England [7]

Australia Sweetman migration to Australia +

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

Sweetman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Sweetman, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Nicol" in 1840 [8]
  • Harriet Sweetman, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Nicol" in 1840 [8]
  • William Sweetman, English convict from Manchester, Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [9]
  • Mr. Edward Sweetman, (John, Sullivan, William, Jones, McKay, Michael, McCaffney), (b. 1828), aged 16, Irish labourer who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Cadet" on 9th April 1844, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [10]
  • Edward Sweetman, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Spartan" in 1849 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Sweetman 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:

Sweetman Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Mary Sweetman, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Katherine Stewart Forbes" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 9th March 1852 [12]
  • Miss Mary A. Sweetman, British laundress travelling from London aboard the ship "Himalaya" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1867 [12]
  • Samuel Sweetman, aged 27, a ploughman, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dilharree" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Sweetman (post 1700) +

  • Ruby Sweetman (1905-1982), American politician, Candidate for University of Michigan Board of Regents, 1949
  • James T. Sweetman, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 22nd District, 1896
  • James Sweetman, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Schoharie County, 1828
  • Doris Sweetman, American Democratic Party politician, Presidential Elector for Connecticut, 1992
  • Bill Sweetman (b. 1956), American former editor for Jane's Information Group, a British publishing company specializing in transportation and military topics
  • John Sweetman (1752-1826), United Irishman, born of Roman Catholic parents in Dublin; the family had for more than a century conducted in that city an extensive brewery, to which Sweetman succeeded on the death of his father
  • Rory Sweetman (b. 1956), Irish-born, New Zealand historian, professor at the University of Otago
  • Edmund Thomas Sweetman (1912-1968), Irish Fine Gael politician
  • Roger Sweetman (1874-1954), Irish Sinn Féin politician and barrister
  • John Sweetman (1844-1936), Irish politician, President of Sinn Féin in 1908
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6QS-KYQ : 6 December 2014), Edith Maud Sweetman, 19 Dec 1919; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Baltic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) WILLIAM NICOL. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840WilliamNichol.htm
  9. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anson voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1843 with 499 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/anson/1843
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/cadet/
  11. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The SPARTAN 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Spartan.htm
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html

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