It was not often that a village in Ireland was named after an English family, but that was the case with Ballydehob which was for several centuries known as "Ballyswanton". In 1858 it was recorded that fifty eight Swanton families livwed in West Cork, between then owning over 12000 acres. The Swantons originate from the villages of Swanton Novers or Swanton Morley in Norfolk. The name is Olde English and translates as "The Farm (Tun) of the Tenant Farmers (Swan)", although some claim that it can also be specific and mean "The swine farme". The name is first recorded in Ireland (see below) in the 17th Century and whilst the original ascendancy families were recorded in the East, the majority moved to West Cork. Their religiouys affiliations are mixed, Henry Swanton of Dublin and Kildare being Sheriff in the time of Charles 11, whilst James Swanton of Cork (1760 - 1828) was distingished Officer in the French Irish Brigade of the Napoleonic Wars. The localised Irish recordings include Bridget Swanton who married Henry Jermyn at Cork, Co. Cork, in 1759 (date unknown), whilst on Febuary 17th 1863 James Swanton married Susan Sweetnam at Aughaclown. Whilst on Febuary 19th 1866 Joseph Swanton, the son of George and Patience (nee Reycroft) was christened at Goleen. The Coat of Arms is Silver, a red fesse between three black rocks. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas de Swanton which was dated 1273, in the Pipe Rolls of Co. Kent, England 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 the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling. 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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