This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is either a variant of Swanbourne, which itself is locational from a place so called in Berkshire, or it may be locational from an unidentified place called Swanborrow or Swanborough, also believed to be in Berkshire. The former, recorded as "Suanaburna" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, dated 792, and as "Sveneborne" in the Domesday Book of 1086, derives its first element from the Olde English pre 7th Century "swan", a swan (or the Old Scandinavian personal name "Sven" meaning "young man"), and the Olde English "burna (burne)", a stream; hence, "swan's stream", or "Sven's stream". Locational surnames, such as this, were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually in search of work, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. Recordings from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Jane Swanborough and Richard Wilkings on May 9th 1762, at St. James', Westminster, London; the marriage of Phillis Swansborough and Philip Trinder on September 11th 1770, at Clewer in Berkshire; and the marriage of William Swansborough and Mary Page on May 25th 1784, at St. Mary's, Marylebone Road, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anne Swaynborowe, which was dated May 29th 1603, marriage to Edmund Wylliams, at St. Giles' Cripplegate, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, 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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