Sweetnam History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Sweetnam is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from a family once having lived in the county of Cheshire, where they held a family seat at Swettenham. The surname Sweetnam is a habitation name that was originally derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The surname originated as a means of identifying individuals from a particular area. In the Middle Ages people often assumed the name of the place that they originally lived as their surname during the course of travel.

Early Origins of the Sweetnam family

The surname Sweetnam was first found in Cheshire at Swettenham, a small village and civil parish. The place name was originally Suetenham in the late 12th century which literally meant "homestead or enclosure of a man called Sweta." [1]

Swettenham Hall is a country house located there dating back to the 17th century. The first Saxon Lord of Swettenham, Peter, had his estates confirmed by King William Rufus.

Early History of the Sweetnam family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sweetnam research. Another 63 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1602, 1617, 1577, 1622, 1606, 1617 and 1618 are included under the topic Early Sweetnam History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sweetnam Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Sweetnam has been recorded under many different variations, including Swettenham, Swetenham, Sweetham, Swetnam and others.

Early Notables of the Sweetnam family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Joseph Swetnam ( fl. 1617), called the woman-hater, " he kept a fencing school at Bristol. He must be distinguished from his contemporary namesake, Joseph Swetnam, Sweetnam...
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sweetnam Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Sweetnam migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Sweetnam or a variant listed above:

Sweetnam Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • George Sweetnam, aged 18, who immigrated to the United States from Skibbereen, in 1903
  • William Sweetnam, aged 27, who landed in America from Cork, Ireland, in 1910
  • James Sweetnam, aged 22, who settled in America from Kilkee, Ireland, in 1913
  • George Sweetnam, aged 20, who landed in America from Bally Dehob, Ireland, in 1913
  • William J. Sweetnam, aged 22, who immigrated to the United States from Mershin, Ireland, in 1920
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Sweetnam (post 1700) +

  • Nancy Sweetnam (b. 1973), Canadian gold and two-time silver medalist medley swimmer
  • Skye Alexandra Sweetnam (b. 1988), Canadian singer-songwriter, actress, and music video director


The Sweetnam 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: Ex sudore vultus
Motto Translation: By the sweat of the face.


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)


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