Swiers History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Swiers is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Swiers family lived at Swyre in Dorset. The surname Swiers was originally derived from the Old English word "swoera" which means a "neck of land" or in other words, one who lives at the neck of land. 
Today Swyre is a coastal parish in Dorset, 6 miles south-east from Bridport  and dates back to the Domesday Book where it was listed as Suere. 
Interestingly, the Index of the Calendar of the Patent Rolls (1446-1452) Henry VI v.5. notes that Swyer was a variant of Squyer and further notes in the May 22 entry for Westminster 'gentilman' alias 'squyer,' so one could presume that the name was as many believe an early from the word 'squire' or 'gentleman.'
Furthermore, the same source notes that on November 13th in 1449, John Squyer of Notyngham (Nottingham) appeared before the court "and his fellows by the name John Swyer to answer..." questions about his debt to Alexander Galyard. The same source notes at least four more entries for the Squyer spelling.
Early Origins of the Swiers family
The surname Swiers was first found in Dorset at Swyre where they were descended from William d'Eu, Count of Eu, who was undertenant in Wiltshire and held the lands of Swyre (Latin: Tempore Regis Edwardi, English: during the reign of King Edward the Confessor) before the Norman Conquest in 1066. William of Swyre held those lands in 1086 at the taking of the Domesday Survey. 
Other early records include Geoffrey le Swyer who was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of Nottinghamshire in 1275 and John Swyer who was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire in 1297. 
Years later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax records of 1379 listed: Ricardus Sqwyer; Thomas Swyer and Willelmus Swyer. 
Early History of the Swiers family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swiers research. Another 173 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1706, 1523, 1533 and 1825 are included under the topic Early Swiers History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Swiers Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Swiers are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Swiers include Swyre, Svere, Swyer, Swyre, Swire, Squyer and others.
Early Notables of the Swiers family (pre 1700)
Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Swiers Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Swiers migration to Canada +
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Swiers, or a variant listed above:
Swiers Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- William Swiers settled at Sandy Point, Newfoundland in 1871 
Contemporary Notables of the name Swiers (post 1700) +
- Joseph Dallas Swiers (1876-1954), American Republican politician, School teacher; Lumber business; Member of Missouri State House of Representatives, 1907-08, 1913-14, 1923-24, 1945-50 (Christian County 1907-08, 1913-14, 1923-24, Greene County 1st District 1945-50)
Related Stories +
The Swiers 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: Esse quam videri
Motto Translation: To be, rather than to seem.
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0