Anglo-Saxon origin. It was name for a person who because of his physical abilities was referred to as swifte, which was an Old English word used to denote one who was quick and had a lot of speed. This was a name often given to a messenger or courier. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character.
Early Origins of the Swiftay family
Norfolk where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D. and were recorded on a list of Taxpayers in 1327 when Christopher Swift held lands in that county.
Early History of the Swiftay family
Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1478, 1634, 1640 and 1667 are included under the topic Early Swiftay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Swiftay Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Swiftay have been found, including Swift, Swifte, Swyft, Swyfte and others.
Early Notables of the Swiftay family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Swiftay family to Ireland
Some of the Swiftay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 193 words (14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Swiftay family to the New World and Oceana
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become powerful new nations. Among early immigrants of the Swiftay surname to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were: Mr. Swift who arrived in Virginia in 1623; Anne Swift came to Barbados in 1673; James Swift arrived in Virginia in 1610; Thomas and William Swift settled in New England in 1640.
The Swiftay 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: Festina lente
Motto Translation: Be quick without impetuosity.
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