This German surname of SCHWALM was a nickname which was given to someone thought to resemble a swallow, perhaps in swiftness and grace. The name is also spelt SCHWALBE, SWALKE, SWAAELU, SWALUWE, SHWALB, SZWALB and SCHWALBLE. In the Middle Ages surnames were frequently taken from bird signs, although in many cases the meaning was as a dealer in such birds used for food. Although many of these animal and bird names sometimes came from shop or inn signs, some also have other derivations such as nicknames from a fancied resemblance to the creature depicted. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. Lopez Aldana Fernando SCHWALB, born 26th August, 1916 is the Peruvian politician. He entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1933, and the Diplomatic Service in 1939. He was Second Secretary of Washington DC from 1944 until 1945. Prime Minister of Peru (1983-4); Minister of Foreign Affairs (1983-4); Ambassador to the United States from 1980 until 1982. Surnames which were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have the same meaning in many languages. The court of Charlemagne (Charles the Great, king of the Franks (742-814) was Christian and Latin speaking). The vernacular was the Frankish dialect of Old High German, and the personal names in use were Germanic and vernacular. These names were adopted in many parts of northwest Europe, particularly among the noble ruling classes. Hereditary surnames were found in Germany in the second half of the 12th century - a little later than in England and France. It was about the 16th century that they became stabilized.
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