Swyer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Swyer is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Swyer family lived at Swyre in Dorset. The surname Swyer 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. [1] Today Swyre is a costal parish in Dorset, 6 miles south-east from Bridport [2] and dates back to the Domesday Book where it was listed as Suere. [3]

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.' 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, 1451 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 Swyer family

The surname Swyer 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) before the Norman Conquest in 1066. William of Swyre held those lands in 1086 at the taking of the Domesday Survey. [3]

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. [4] Years later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax records of 1379 listed: Ricardus Sqwyer; Thomas Swyer and Willelmus Swyer. [5]

Early History of the Swyer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swyer research. Another 173 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1706, 1523, 1533 and 1825 are included under the topic Early Swyer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Swyer Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Swyre, Svere, Swyer, Swyre, Swire, Squyer and others.

Early Notables of the Swyer family (pre 1700)

Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Swyer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Swyer migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Swyer or a variant listed above:

Swyer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Daisy Swyer, aged 23, who arrived in New York in 1894 aboard the ship "New York" from Southampton, England [6]
Swyer Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Sarah Swyer, aged 25, who arrived in New York in 1905 aboard the ship "Baltic" from Queenstown, Ireland [7]
  • Henry Swyer, aged 48, who settled in America from London, England, in 1910
  • Lewis Swyer, aged 15, who arrived in New York in 1910 aboard the ship "Saint Paul" from Southampton, England [8]
  • Hyman Swyer, aged 11 years 6 months, who arrived in New York in 1911 aboard the ship "Adriatic" from Southampton, England [9]
  • Rebecca Swyer, aged 45, who arrived in New York in 1911 aboard the ship "Adriatic" from Southampton, England [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Swyer migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Swyer Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Samuel Swyer, who settled at Sandy Point, Newfoundland in 1792 [11]
Swyer Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Phillip Swyer, planter of Bayley's Cove, Newfoundland in 1817 [11]
  • Bennett Swyer, who settled at Sandy Point, Newfoundland in 1871 [11]
  • Phillip Swyer, who settled at Sandy Point, Newfoundland in 1871 [11]
  • Bennett Swyer, planter at Bayley's Cove, Newfoundland in 1821 [11]
  • James Swyer, of Old Perlican, Newfoundland in 1851 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Swyer migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Swyer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Walter Edward Swyer (1861-1934), who emigrated from Great Britain, disembarking from RMS Quetta at Brisbane on 24 September 1884.

Contemporary Notables of the name Swyer (post 1700) +

  • Edward P. Swyer, American businessman and entrepreneur, president and CEO of The Swyer Companies, a real estate company in Albany New York, University of Albany Alumni Association Citizen of the Year in 1996
  • Lewis A. Swyer (1918-1988), American businessman and benefactor, Chairman of Saratoga Performing Arts Center, eponym of the Lewis A. Swyer Theatre, housed in The Egg, a performing arts venue in Albany, New York
  • Alan Swyer, American writer and director
  • Charles R Swyer, English-born, Australian architect, co-founder of Purchas & Swyer, an architectural firm in Melbourne, Victoria
  • Dr. Robert Swyer, English Senior Assistant Medical Officer, North-Western Fever Hospital, London City Council in the early 20th century
  • Septimus Swyer (1835-1906), English physician from Shaftsebury, Dorset, elected Fellow of the Obstetrical Society of London in 1863, father of Walter Edward Swyer who emigrated to Australia; he emigrated to Baltimore, Maryland in 1893
  • Basil Swyer (1898-1964), English cricketer
  • Eldon Swyer, Canadian academic, former Principal, Labrador City Collegiate
  • Paul Robert Swyer (b. 1921), English-born, Canadian Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics, University of Toronto, co-discoverer of Swyer James Mcleod's Syndrome
  • Irene Swyer, author of "Post-natal Depresssion"


The Swyer 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.


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JXM2-F4M : 6 December 2014), Daisy Swyer, 27 Oct 1894; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New York, ship name New York, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  7. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JFW2-QZ3 : 6 December 2014), Sarah Swyer, 15 Sep 1905; citing departure port Queenstown, arrival port New York, ship name Baltic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  8. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJJT-9Q7 : 6 December 2014), Lewis Swyer, 16 Jul 1910; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New York, ship name Saint Paul, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  9. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJP2-B4X : 6 December 2014), Hyman Swyer, 12 Jan 1911; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New York, ship name Adriatic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  10. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJP2-B4D : 6 December 2014), Rebecca Swyer, 12 Jan 1911; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New York, ship name Adriatic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  11. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0


Houseofnames.com on Facebook
Shipping
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

Support
BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Payment
Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate