This interesting surname of English origin is either an occupational name for a worker at the swine - enclosure, or it may be a topographical name for a dweller by the seine - enclosure, deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century "swin" meaning "swine" plus "geard" "enclosure". The surname dates back to the early 14th Century, (see below). Further recordings include Nicholas Swynard (1379) "The Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire". Church recordings include Nicholas Swinarde who married Susanne Andrews in Canterbury in 1668, Thomas, son of John and Sarah Swinyard was christened on November 14th 1715 at St.Katherine by the Tower, London, John, son of William and Mary Swinyard was christened on March 13th 1750 at Christ Church, Spitalfields, London, and Joseph, son of Joseph and Sarah Swynard was christened on May 26th 1765 at St. Botolph without Aldgate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Swynyard, which was dated 1332, the Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward 111, "Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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