This interesting surname is a Yorkshire form of the medieval English "Seward, Seaward or Sueherd. The name has two possible sources, each with its own history. Firstly, the name may derive from Siward or Seward, male given names, themselves derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century Sigheweard and Saeweard, or the Danish-Viking "Sigwith", which has the translation. These names had the elements "sige", meaning victory, "sae", the sea, and "weard", a lord. Early baptismal names were usually associated with the gods of fire, water and war, and these are excellent examples. As Siuuard, Seuuard and Sauuard they are recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. Early examples of surnames from these sources include Richard Syward of Cambridgeshire in the year1260; and Richard Seward of Shropshire in 1275. The second and equally probable origin may be as an occupational name for a swineherd. Again the origin is medieval and the development from the Olde English "su", meaning pig, and "hierde", a herdsman. An early example of a recording from this source is that of Alicia Sueherd in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire. The development to a later form is shown by the recording of Anne Suarde, christened in Otley on April 5th 1584, and a further "dales" development in the 18th century, when John Suart was a witness at Ingleton, on August 16th 1724. The first recording is believed to be that of Richard Siward, which was dated 1235, in the rolls of Oxford known as the "Feet of Fines", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272.
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