Origins Available: English
The history of the Swethan family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living in the county of Cheshire
, where they held a family seat
at Swettenham. The surname Swethan 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 Swethan family
The surname Swethan 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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
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 Swethan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swethan research.Another 125 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1500 and 1602 are included under the topic Early Swethan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Swethan Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon
surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. Changes in Anglo-Saxon
names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Swethan include Swettenham, Swetenham, Sweetham, Swetnam and others.
Early Notables of the Swethan family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Swethan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Swethan family to the New World and Oceana
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Swethan or a variant listed above: Francis Swettnam who settled in Barbados in 1685; Alfred Swettenham, aged 22, who arrived at Ellis Island
, in 1923; Constance S. Swettenham, aged 44, who arrived at Ellis Island
from London, in 1903.
The Swethan 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.