The Swethmen surname came to Ireland
from Britain with the Anglo-Norman (Strongbow) invasion of the 12th century. The surname Swethmen 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 Swethmen is Suatman.
Early Origins of the Swethmen family
The surname Swethmen 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.
Early History of the Swethmen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swethmen research.Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1584, 1874, 1380, 1360 and 1361 are included under the topic Early Swethmen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Swethmen Spelling Variations
Church officials and medieval scribes often simply spelled names as they sounded. As a result, a single person's name may have been recorded a dozen different ways during his lifetime. Spelling variations
for the name Swethmen include: Suatman, Sweetman, Swetman and others.
Early Notables of the Swethmen family (pre 1700)
Another 21 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Swethmen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Swethmen family to the New World and Oceana
went through one of the most devastating periods in its history with the arrival of the Great Potato Famine
of the 1840s. Many also lost their lives from typhus, fever and dysentery. And poverty was the general rule as tenant
farmers were often evicted because they could not pay the high rents. Emigration to North America gave hundreds of families a chance at a life where work, freedom, and land ownership were all possible. For those who made the long journey, it meant hope and survival. The Irish emigration to British North America and the United States opened up the gates of industry, commerce, education and the arts. Early immigration and passenger lists have shown many Irish people bearing the name Swethmen: Margeret Sweetman settled in Virginia in 1656; Ann Sweetman settled in Annapolis, Maryland in 1722; M.C. Sweetman settled in Charleston South Carolina in 1794.