The Swetmane surname came to Ireland
from Britain with the Anglo-Norman (Strongbow) invasion of the 12th century. The surname Swetmane 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 Swetmane is Suatman.
Early Origins of the Swetmane family
The surname Swetmane 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 Swetmane family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swetmane research.Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1584, 1874, 1380, 1360 and 1361 are included under the topic Early Swetmane History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Swetmane Spelling Variations
Names were simply spelled as they sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. Therefore, during the lifetime of a single person, his name was often spelt in many different ways, explaining the many spelling variations
encountered while researching the name Swetmane. Some of these variations included: Suatman, Sweetman, Swetman and others.
Early Notables of the Swetmane family (pre 1700)
Another 21 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Swetmane Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Swetmane family to the New World and Oceana
In the mid-19th century, Ireland
experienced one of the worst periods in its entire history. During this decade in order to ease the pressure of the soil, which was actually depleted by the effects of the previous years' grain crops, landowners forced tenant
farmers and peasants onto tiny plots of land that barely provided the basic sustenance a family required. Conditions were worsened, though, by the population of the country, which was growing fast to roughly eight million. So when the Great Potato Famine
of the mid-1840s hit, starvation and diseases decimated the population. Thousands of Irish families
left the country for British North America and the United States. The new immigrants were often accommodated either in the opening western frontiers or as cheap unskilled labor in the established centers. In early passenger and immigration lists there are many immigrants bearing the name Swetmane: 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.