Last name: Swan

Recorded as Swan, Swann, and Swayne, this interesting name has at least three possible origins and two nationalities. Where English the derivation is from the pre 7th century Olde English word "swon." This originally described a swineherd, and later became cross-linked with the word swan, which was pronounced exactly the same and described the bird. Hence in medieval times the name may also have described a an swan-upper or keeper of swans. The second possibility is that the name is locational, and describes somebody who lived at a place with the sign of the swan. This may have been an inn or alehouse, but could equally just have been a house name in the days before houses were numbered. Amongst the very earliest of sample recordings are those of John Swann of Shropshire in 1221, Gilbert Swan of Cambridge, in 1260, whilst Walter le Swon and Stephen le Swan both appear in the Subsidy Rolls of the county of Sussex in 1298. The exact origin of the name cannot be distinguished in the above entries. Finally the name, originally as Swayne, but now also recorded with both Swan and Swann, has been found in Ireland since around the 14th century. In this case the claim is that it is a development of the Norse-Viking word "swein" meaning servant, although certainly since about 1640 as Swan and Swann it has been widely recorded in Northern Ireland, where it is clearly an import from England. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Hugo Swan in the pipe rolls of the county of Suffolk in the year 1176. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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Michael Swan

My father's family is Irish hailing from Plymouth Mass.

Michael Swan

I'm Michael Swan with my Irish family hailing from Massachusetts.

David Swan (Scotland)

Clan Gunn is where us Swan derive from

Forever a Swan, Jeff.

Charles Swan
Anyone have connection to Swans from TN?

my grandmother is swann we are from finland

David L. Swan
Have history of Swans, sister put a lot of work into. A Swan was Washinton's paymaster, and Swans owned the Farm on Breeds Hill Where first shot was fired at English, and A Swan helped settle Fryburg, Maine

Jeff Swan
For all I know, Swan might not be my real name. One adoption, and it's history.

Cindy Martin
We've been to the Queen's swannery and it was quite a sight. It would be nice to have a connection to the name Swan as though some ancestor was a swan keeper. I would be interested in documentation on where the name originated in my family.

Diana Swan - Georgii
Very interesting this all explains a few connections I have.

Cindy Martin
Lots of pre-supposition here. I tend to think names come from many derivations and it's pretty hard to know yours, unless you can GET as far back as the first mention in your branch. I prefer to take my history from 1640 when my ancestor, "John Swan" first appears in the US history as a servant who marries Mary Pratt and is thus related to the Mayflower through her line. Then I don't have to think about being related to a "swineherd". :) Any other of these Swans out there? Cindy Swan-Martin

Joe Williams
My Great Grandfather is a SWAYNE. He was from Cork City, County Cork, Ireland and came to the U.S. (NYC) in 1848.

Dave Swan
david swan complete hogwash!! comes from Mcqueen...backed by proper documented history, complete with land references and other Clan claims

David Michael Swan
Do you have links to or copies of our history. I too have done some research and have discovered that we are also tied to the Gunn Clan of Edinburgh.

Hello, my name is Danny Swan. Can you email me what you have on the Swan name, as far back as you have. Email to:
Thank You. Danny

Brenda Swan Goins
I too would love to have your info. bkgoins99& Thanks

Carl Swan
I knew I had royal blood!

karen swan
our family history suggests that our name swan comes from Edith Swanneck, Edith Swannesha is the old english.She was king harolds first wife, and identified his body at the battle of hastings, 1066. So, any thoughts on this? Karen Swan