Last name: Swain

This surname is not only one of the oldest of all recorded surnames, pre-dating the 1086 Domesday Book (see below), it is one of the earliest settler names in America. It derives from the pre 8th Century "Viking" (Scandinavian) personal name Sven, Suen or Sveinn, a form of endearment translating literally as "boy". The name in several variant forms was enthusiastically adopted by the English, and also by the 1066 Norman invaders who were themselves of Viking origins. By the 16th Century the term "swain" had developed the senses of "young rustic", and hence "rustic lover, wooer". The modern surname from this source can be found as Swain, Swaine, Swayn and Swayne, while the patronymic forms are Swains, Sweynson, Swenson and Swainson. The early recordings include Robert Suein in the 1166 Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire, whilst Walter Swayn is found in the Court Rolls of Suffolk in 1295. Later recordings include Samuel Swaine of Sewardstone, Essex, in 1612, a descendant of William Swayne, also of Essex, granted arms on June 29th 1444, whilst on June 1st 1681, the rare form of Swains (a development of Swaynes) is found at Thame, Oxford, when John Swains married Marrian Powell. The first American recording is of Peter Swaine, who was a passenger on the sloop "Batchelor" bound for the Leeward Isles and Virginia from London on May 3rd 1679. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osgot Sveyn, which was dated 1045, in the "Anglo-Saxon Wills List of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Edward, known as "The Confessor", 1042 - 1066. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Teresa Swain

I'm from Georgia USA. My grandfather was Alvis E. Dwain.

Bobby Joe Swain 3rd

im 6'2 blue eye blonde hair and all the family that i know are from tennessee and north carolina.


Shaun Swain 27 from Kent U.K. Most my family are still here in England. Stout lot, not many above 6 feet (I am myself 5'8") but pretty strong willed and have generally good sharp wit. Bad tempers though. My uncle traced an offshoot of the family to Greenwich Village NY back around 1920 before they broke off contact some time in the early 20s. None returned after the war either either those they is some talk that a few American Swains and British Swains ended up bumping into each other a few times in Europe while fighting, all sharing a few family members either having died or still living. It was always very brief from what is said but really, I'd like to see if I can find out a little more?

Sherri Swain
My 9th Great-Grandfather, Richard Swayne/Swaine, changed the spelling after arriving in America (Rowley, MA) in Sept 1635, sailed from England on the ship "True Love". Over the many years since, my ancestors have traveled from MA, NH, NJ, NC, GA and ended in FL.

Pamela Swain
Hey cousin! I'm a GA Swain from Monsieur Richard Swain...:)

Tony Swain
That is correct Sherri. I do wonder if any Sven's (Swain's) were over in North America on any of the Viking early visits before all of what we know now. in the years 1300 or so

Tony Swain
and the same Richard Swain has decendents that came to our Ohio roos in Fairfleld County, Lancaster

Fairfield County, Lancaster Swains
I am of the Fairfield County, Lancaster Swains. My great grandfather was Floyd Swain. My Grandmother, his daughter was Alice Lucille Swain (Cooley). Her only son, Charles Lunsford, is my father.

My name is Stacey Swain I'm 17 from England

a baxter
again one of my linc's baxters wed a SWAIN in1840, and now i have many SWAIN's in the family. cannot find any who went over the brook to usa.

Abigail Swain
I'm from Devon, England

Robert Swain
My names Robert Swain and I'm from virginia :O

I am kyle Swain i live in Australia wish i could fine when my family came over

My name is in great grandfather is louis rafeal swain.. musician from Kokomo, IN... have no other clue about my name or ancestry past other than thing is could I find out more???

Matthew Swaine
Hi my name is Matthew Swaine always wanted 2 no more about my family name my name comes fr Ireland and I live in England I'm half indian Irish and English

Matthew Swaine

Patrick Swain
I am deeply interested in my family's history I'm a 6'4 blonde blue eyed college baseball player from Colorado USA

jacqueline swaine
The name Swain/Swaine appears to come up a lot in Hastings and surrounding areas Being as Fishermen/Smugglers,The family is so large we never may be able to get to the bottom of I am researching the name as I married one the list goes on for ever.

Alecia Swain
Hi my name is Alecia Swain from Cape Town South Africa. My dad is Harold Swain and his granddad was from Tristan Da Cuhna. According to history there was a massive volcanic erruption in Tristan and many inhabitants fled. Some of the Swains fleeing to Cape Town. Unfortunately because of the apartheid era the Swains of Tristan Da Cuhna being white and the Swains of Cape Town being coloured could not meet. However half my family are fair skinned with light hair and blue or green eyes and the other half of us are bronze with light brown hair and light brown / hazel eyes. Are you able to shed light on any of this and would you know where the other Swains fled to. Thank you

my name is hannah swain, i am a girl with ginger hair, i believe that jesus loves us all equally, i am arabic, jerusalemish and lebanese

hi every one im a swain gary roald swain i know your all very proud of our surname i was born in greenwich london in 1958 my dad was ronald swain but known as pop as was his dad

andrew Stirling
I would like to correct an error regarding the birth of Thorlongus. The estimated dates on most sources is c.1030-1112. I appologise yours, Andrew Stirling

Dawn Swain

My father was (Don) Cyril George Swain was born in Stevenage, England in 1892. His father's name was James Swain. I was born in Banff, Alberta, Canada in 1949. My father had 5 siblings and I hope to locate their descendants. Please help if you can. Thanks

andrew stirling
The Swain families living in the lothian Edinburgh area are probably descended from a brother or cousin of Thor of Tranent in East Lothian (b.c1100) he became sheriff of Stirling later, and is the ancestor of the Stirlings in Scotland. Thor is stated on an early charter as the son of Swain he also had an elder son Swain who was living in Stirling. His father Swain b.c 1065-70 may be the brother of William b.c.1070, they could be sons of Thorlongus c.1130-1112. Thor the archdeacon of lothian, and one or two others with the name swain were living in the Edinburgh area on charters c.1130-50 also a william son of Swain and a William Thorald. It is possible that Thor the archdeacon may be a son of this earlier William (the brother of Swain who was the father of Thor in Tranent. I m 99% certain that the are all related and possibly back to Thorlongus. The clan Crawford association claim Thorlongus to be their ancestor but this can not be possible as the genealogy does not fit. For example : - Reginald of Crawford was born between c. 1075-80 his father is said to be Galfridus who must have been born at least 20 years before or thereabouts.The crawford descendants say that his father was Swain son of Thorlongus. Swain was born around c.1065-70.They can not be descended from Thorlongus ? My own family y dna was tested in 2007 by the (family tree dna) testing company who sent me a list of people who match my dna on 12 markers. I was surprised to find that one of the families on the list and (surnames database) was Swain. I also match others of my own surname Stirling.

Bill Swain
The first instant of the name Swain in America is of Richard Swain and his sons William and John landing in Massechusets in 1634 and one of the first five families, along with the Starbucks, to settle on Nantuckett in 1635. John Swain's house is still standing and there is a Swain and a Starbuck house in the village.

Cindy Martin
Do you have any more information regarding Richard or his son John? We hair from a John Swan, who some of the family believe are this John Swain but that the name was changed. John became a servant of Thomas Bittlestone and later married Rebecca Palfry and later Mary Pratt. Do you know Richard's wife's name? Or if the family name was later changed? On John's tombstone it does say Swain, I believe. Thanks!

Jerry Swain
In England and for early settlers in America, the name was spelled SWAINE. Richard is the son of John (1574-1599) and Ann Trumbull (1578-1648). Richard (1595-1682}, had two wives, 2-Jane Godfrey (1624-1662) and 1-Elizabeth Basselle (1605-1657). Children with Elizabeth - (sons) Francis, Nicholas, William, Richard (dau) Grace, Elizabeth. Children with Jane - John, Dorothy. In 1659 Richard was fined for entertaining Quakers and later excommunicated. Grace (Swaine) Boulder, daughter of Richard, was accused of witchcraft in 1680. It does not appear that she was tried but two other women accused at the same time were jailed. [Dates are confusing in this time period because New Years was our current March 25 and their March was month 1 so dates between Mar 1-Mar 24 were one year and Mar 25-31 were a year later. Some countries were using the new calendar so dates between Jan. 1 and Mar. 25 were often given a double year as Feb. 1, 1611-2. One must know whether a date is the old style or new style to get the year correct for dates between Jan. 1 and March 25.]

hi bill im gary ronald swain from greenwich london nice to meet you buddy do you know swain county n.c.ive allways felt a conection with the usa i think there was a swain in gorge town virginia well hope to here from you gary swain

Hi I'm also a swain. Does your family originate from Greenwich ?

Marvin K. Swain
I Read The first known spelling Swain was by Svien Fork Beard Son Of Harold Blue Tooth In 1013 or so.

andrew stirling
The surname swain is not just found in England there were swains in lothian Edinburgh c.1100 and swains in Perthshire 1190s