Swift History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The name Swift is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Swift was a name used 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 Swift family

The surname Swift was first found in 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.

Important Dates for the Swift family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Swift research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1478, 1634, 1534, 1599, 1534, 1640, 1667, 1667, 1745 and 1726 are included under the topic Early Swift History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Swift Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Swift include Swift, Swifte, Swyft, Swyfte and others.

Early Notables of the Swift family (pre 1700)

Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Swift Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Swift family to Ireland

Some of the Swift family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 102 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Swift migration to the United States

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Swift were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Swift Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James Swift, who arrived in Virginia in 1610
  • Jon Swift, who landed in Virginia in 1618 [1]
  • Mr. Swift who arrived in Virginia in 1623
  • Thomas Swift, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1635 [1]
  • Tho Swift, who arrived in Virginia in 1638 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Swift Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Swift, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1716
  • Lattice Swift, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1721-1726 [1]
  • William Swift, who landed in Bermuda in 1722 [1]
  • Daniel Swift, aged 21, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1778 [1]
  • John White Swift, who arrived in New York in 1798 [1]
Swift Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Ann Swift, aged 30, who landed in America in 1822 [1]
  • Seth Swift, who landed in Texas in 1835 [1]
  • James Swift, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1849 [1]
  • H Swift, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [1]
  • R W Swift, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Swift migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Swift Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Jane Swift, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. Joseph Swift U.E. born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA who settled in Nova Scotia c. 1784 he eventually returned to Philadelphia, USA where he died in 1826 [2]
Swift Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Anthony Swift, aged 19, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Sea Horse" from Galway, Ireland
  • James Swift, aged 35, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Britannia" from Sligo, Ireland
  • John Swift, who settled in Harbour Grace in 1834
  • Miss. Jane Swift, aged 2 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Wolfville" departing 25th April 1847 from Sligo, Ireland; the ship arrived on 10th June 1847 but she died on board [3]
  • William Swift was a fisherman of Bay de Loup, Newfoundland in 1859 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Swift migration to Australia

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

Swift Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Swift, Welsh convict from Brecknock, who was transported aboard the "Adamant" on March 16, 1821, settling in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Sydney Swift, aged 25, a farm labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Ascendant" [6]
  • Charles Swift, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Dorothy" in 1849 [7]
  • William Swift, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Orator" in 1849 [8]
  • Frederick Swift, aged 28, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Sea Park" [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Swift migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Swift Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Swift, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mermaid" in 1859
  • Mr. John Swift, British settler travelling from Liverpool aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 19th October 1859 [10]
  • Mr. Michael Swift, (b. 1847), aged 18, British farm labourer travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 1st January 1866 [10]
  • Miss Annie Swift, (b. 1835), aged 32, British nurse travelling from London aboard the ship " Lancashire Witch" sailing to Auckland and Lyttelton, New Zealand on 29th July 1867 [10]
  • James Swift, aged 32, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Swift (post 1700)

  • Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, best remembered for his book Gulliver's Travels
  • Richard Swift (1977-2018), American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and short-film maker
  • Allan Byron Swift (1935-2018), American Democrat politician, Broadcaster, public affairs director, KVOS-TV; Administrative assistant to U.S. Rep. Lloyd Meeds, 1965-69; U.S. Representative from Washington 2nd District, 1979-95
  • Zephaniah Swift (1759-1823), American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Windham, 1787-89, 1820-22; U.S. Representative from Connecticut at-large, 1793-97; Member of Connecticut council of assistants, 1799, 1801
  • Willis E. Swift, American Republican politician, Mayor of Augusta, Maine, 1917-18
  • William F. Swift, American Republican politician, Member of Michigan State Senate 31st District, 1881-82; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1884
  • William C. N. Swift, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1860, 1864
  • William Swift (b. 1794), American politician, Mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, 1855-58. English ancestry
  • Warren A. Swift, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Massachusetts, 1912
  • Tom Swift, American Republican politician, Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives 6th District; Elected 1980
  • ... (Another 71 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Swift family

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Walter Edward Swift (b. 1917), English Stoker 1st Class from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [11]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Edward Swift, English Third Cook from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [12]
RMS Titanic
  • Mrs. Margaret Welles Swift, (née Barron), aged 46, American First Class passenger from New York City, New York who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat 8 [13]

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Citations

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 97)
  4. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Adamant voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1821 with 144 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/adamant/1821
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The ASCENDANT 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Ascendant.htm
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The DOROTHY 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Dorothy.htm
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The ORATOR 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Orator.htm
  9. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SEA PARK 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/seapark1852.shtml.
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  12. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  13. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
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