An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name Swiney is Mac Suibhne, which is derived from the word "suibhne," which means "pleasant."
The surname Swiney was first found in County Donegal (Irish: Dún na nGall), northwest Ireland in the province of Ulster, sometimes referred to as County Tyrconnel. The name is derived from Suibhne O'Neill, who was a chieftain in Argyll, Scotland. His descendants migrated to Ireland as gallowglasses (mercenaries) prior to 1267. The three great septs of this name finally established themselves in Tirconnell in 14th century; they were known as MacSweeney Fanad, MacSweeney Banagh, and MacSweeney na dTuath, who were commonly referred to as 'MacSweeney of the Battleaxes.' They later became attached to the MacCarthys in the south and acquired their own territories and castles in Muskerry in County Cork.
The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name Swiney were encountered in the archives: MacSweeney, MacSweeny, MacSwine, MacSwiney, MacSwyne, MacSwyny, MacWhinney, MacWhinny, MacWhinnie, MacSwiny, McSweeney, Swiney, Swinney and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swiney research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1299 and 1310 are included under the topic Early Swiney History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 133 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Swiney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
A great mass of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century, seeking relief from various forms of social, religious, and economic discrimination. This Irish exodus was primarily to North America. If the migrants survived the long ocean journey, many unfortunately would find more discrimination in the colonies of British North America and the fledgling United States of America. These newly arrived Irish were, however, wanted as a cheap source of labor for the many large agricultural and industrial projects that were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the western world. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the Swiney name:
Swiney Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Swiney Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Swiney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Swiney Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
Swiney Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Swiney Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The Swiney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Swiney Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 18 December 2014 at 16:22.