This very interesting surname recorded as Swadlen, Swadlin, Swadling, and Swadlinge, is of Norse-Viking origins. It derives from a pre 8th century personal name, which also forms the first element in the Derbyshire town of 'Swadlingcotes', and recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as 'Sivardincotes'. It does not seem as if the surname originated from the Derbyshire town, although it may have derived from some other now 'lost' village, a not uncommon situation, in that at least five thousand surnames in the British Isles originated from villages or hamlets which have now totally disappeared, only the surname remaining. The surname is well recorded in the London region, although not until 1592, and it can therefore be assumed that earlier recordings of the surname will exist somewhere, but unfortunately we have not been able to find them. However the early church records do show that a family recorded variously in the spellings of Swadling, Swadlinge and Swadlen, see below, lived in Clerkenwell, in the late 16th century. The fathers name was Henry, the son Humphrey being shown below. The eldest daughter Elizabeth was christened on September 21st 1600 at St James, Clerkenwell, and on September 23rd 1621, she married Robert Kyrbye, at the same church. As far as we know she was not related to Thomas Swadlin, a royalist divine, and in 1642, curate of St Botolphs without Aldergate, London. He was also born in London in 1600. Thomas was imprisoned by Parliament, and deprived of his living, although he was 'restored' by Charles 11 in 1660. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Humphrey Swadlen, which was dated July 10th 1597, christened at St. James, Clerkenwell, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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