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The German state of Bavaria is the ancestral home of the Swope family. Swope is a local name. Swope is a name for someone who lived in Swabia, a medieval dukedom that was in southwestern Germany. This is a regional name for a person who was form Swabia having derived from the Germanic word Schwaben, which means Swabian and is derived from the name of the Germanic tribe that inhabited this region. The Latin form of the tribal name is Suebi or Suevi.


The surname Swope was first found in Franconia and later Mecklenburg, where the name became prominent as many branches of the same house acquired distant estates, some in foreign countries such as Austria. They were always elevating their social status by intermarriage and by their great contributions to society. The name Schwab has been traced to Mecklenburg as early as 1298, when Ulrich Schwab, the first Count of Nemerow, lived. Chronicles also mention Christian Schwabel in Franconia in 1414.

Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Swope include Schwab, Schwabe, Schwabel, Schwebel, Swab and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swope research. Another 292 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1540, 1575, 1615, 1645, 1714, 1784, 1810, and 1840 are included under the topic Early Swope History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Swope Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


European migration to North America began in the mid-17th century and continued unabated until the mid-20th. Many Bavarians made the long trip to escape poverty or persecution based on their religious beliefs. The chance for tenant farmers to own their own land was also a major drawing card. They settled all across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many came to Canada also, settling in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Swopes to arrive in North America, and among them were:

Swope Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • George Swope, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1744
  • Christopher Swope, who landed in Maryland in 1798

  • W. B. Swope, American Republican politician, Mayor of Welch, West Virginia, 1977-79
  • Samuel Franklin Swope (1809-1865), American politician, Member of Kentucky State Legislature, 1837; U.S. Representative from Kentucky 10th District, 1855-57
  • Mary D. Swope, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1924
  • Lee F. Swope, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Pennsylvania State Senate 15th District, 1960
  • Lavera Swope, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Idaho, 1952
  • King Swope (1893-1961), American Republican politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Kentucky, 1916; U.S. Representative from Kentucky 8th District, 1919-21; Defeated, 1920; State Court Judge in Kentucky, 1931
  • Joseph J. Swope (b. 1897), American Democrat politician, Candidate for supervisor of Ypsilanti Township, Michigan, 1949, 1953
  • John M. Swope, American politician, Delegate to Whig National Convention from Alabama, 1839
  • John W. Swope, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Kentucky 6th District, 1964
  • John Augustus Swope (1827-1910), American Democrat politician, U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania 19th District, 1884-85, 1885-87
  • ...

  • History of the Swope Family and Descendants of Rockington County, Virginia by The Swope Family History Committee.
  • The Swope Family Book of Remembrance by Emily Swope Morse.

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    Other References

    1. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
    2. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    3. Tarneller, Josef. Zur Namenkunde Tirolen Familiennamen. Bozen: Buchhandlung, 1923. Print.
    4. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
    5. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
    6. Garland, Mary and Henry Garland Editions. Oxford Companion To German Literature 3rd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Print. (ISBN 0198158963).
    7. Oswald, G. Lexicon der Heraldik. Leipzig: 1984. Print.
    8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    11. ...

    The Swope Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Swope 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 9 October 2015 at 09:25.

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