Swelle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Swelle was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Swelle family lived in Yorkshire, at Swale.

Early Origins of the Swelle family

The surname Swelle 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]

Early History of the Swelle family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swelle 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 Swelle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Swelle Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled S Wales, Swale, Swalles, Swaile, Swailles, Swailes and many more.

Early Notables of the Swelle 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 Swelle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Swelle family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Swelle or a variant listed above: Ralph Swaile who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1880; George S Wales who settled in St. Christopher in 1635.



The Swelle 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


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


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