Recorded as Schweitzer, Schweizer, Schwiesau, Schwieso, Schwiesow, Schwisow and others, this is a surname of Germanic origins. It is apparently locational and almost certainly what is called a 'Landesnamen', or the name of a country or locality, in this case probably Switzerland. This name itself is probably a derivative of 'schweiger' which can have two meanings, the first being a herdsman and the second, a quiet place. Both may well have applied in ancient Switzerland, which was famous for its dairy products, and was traditionally a quiet place. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homesteads or even countries, to live somewhere else, as an easy form of identification. Spelling over the centuries being at best erratic, and local dialects often 'very thick', lead to the development of 'sounds like' surname spellings. In this case we have an early recording in that of Ortolf Schweizer of Wien (Vienna) in 1308, whilst a more recent recording in the German Church registers is that of Heinrich Schwisow of Mecklenberg-Schwerin, on November 15th 1703.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017