Recorded as Sweeg, Swig, Swigg, Swigges, Swiggs, and possibly Swigger, this is a rare surname which is probably pre 8th century Anglo-Saxon in origin. It is believed to derive from the ancient word "swig" which today means to drink quickly, but as a medieval surname may have been occupational for a skilled man who made drinking vessels usually out of leather. It is also possible, indeed almost anything is possible with some surnames, that given the robust humour of those far off times, it may have been a nickname for somebody who liked a drink, but we think not. A more likely alternative to a maker of drinking vessels, is that the English spellings are short forms of the Germanic Swiger or Swiggert, meaning a herdsman or cattle dealer, but again we have no positive link. The early surviving recordings found in the church registers of the city of London include Robert Swig who married Elizabeth Mansor at the church of St Benet Fink on January 27th 1554, during the reign of King Edward V1th, (1547 - 1554). The son of the unlamented Henry V111th, Edward was known to history as "The boy king", and died when only seventeen. Later recordings include Francis Sweeg at the famous church of St Mary-le-Bone on April 6th 1788, and Thomas Swiggs, a christening witness at St Dunstans Stepney, on November 3rd 1816.
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