This very unusual name is a variant form either of the Old English "Sceran-Wind", a nickname for a fast runner or messenger, and usually now found in the surname spellings of Sherwin, Shewin or Sherwen, or it is a developed form of the Dutch-German heraldic "Schwenck" a probable metonymic for a wheelwright, or a carter, one who used "wheels". The earliest recording as shown would tie in with the second and more likely explanation as the date coincides exactly with the extended period of unrest and revolution in Germany which led to the formation of the first Reich in 1860. The modern spelling is almost certainly as a result of the "anglicising" of the name to avoid being regarded as "German" during the first world war. On the other hand a Dorcas Shewen was recorded in London in 1566, so this could be the origin. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter Schwenck, which was dated September 1st 1850, married Rosina Shoults at St. Philip the Apostle, London, during the reign of Queen Victoria, "The great White Queen", 1837 - 1901. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017