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SWAN Family History

Recorded as Swan, Swann, and Swayne, this interesting name has at least three possible origins and two nationalities. Where English the derivation is from the pre 7th century Olde English word "swon." This originally described a swineherd, and later became cross-linked with the word swan, which was pronounced exactly the same and described the bird. Hence in medieval times the name may also have described a an swan-upper or keeper of swans. The second possibility is that the name is locational, and describes somebody who lived at a place with the sign of the swan. This may have been an inn or alehouse, but could equally just have been a house name in the days before houses were numbered...

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