Swell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 brought the Swell family name to the British Isles. They lived in Yorkshire, at Swale.
Early Origins of the Swell family
The surname Swell 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." 
Early History of the Swell family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swell research. Another 86 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1660, 1545, 1608, 1545, 1603, 1606 and 1608 are included under the topic Early Swell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Swell Spelling Variations
A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include S Wales, Swale, Swalles, Swaile, Swailles, Swailes and many more.
Early Notables of the Swell family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Richard Swale (1545?-1608), English civilian, born in Yorkshire about 1545, son of Thomas Swale of Askham-Richard in Yorkshire. "Swale was knighted by James I at Whitehall on 23 July 1603. On 28 May 1606...
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Swell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Swell family
Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Swell or a variant listed above: Ralph Swaile who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1880; George S Wales who settled in St. Christopher in 1635.
Related Stories +
The Swell 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: Jesu, esto mihi Jesus
Motto Translation: Jesus, be my Savior
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.