One of the famous Lincolnshire 'Viking' locational names from the pre 9th century, and deriving from the village of Swaby, near Louth. The name means, the farmstead (byr) of the 'Swaefe' - an ancient tribe who also left their mark in the Norfolk town name of Swaffham, but who originated from the area around Denmark and North Germany. The name has retained its original spelling as, Swaby or Swabey since at least the 13th century, a rare event in itself, although oddly in 1620, Elizabeth Suwardby (as spelt) is recorded as the wife of, Sir Thomas Hibbottes, Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer, it is possible that, Suwardby, may be of the same root origin. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger de Swaby, which was dated 1273, in the Pipe Rolls of Lincoln, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as the Hammer of the Scots, 1272-1307. 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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