The surname of SWEAT was derived from the Old English word 'swete' a name given to a sweet and gentle person. The name was brought to England by the Conqueror in 1066. In England the name is most common in the West County. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. The name is also spelt SUET, SWEET, SWEATMAN, SWEATE, SWEATT, SWETT, SUSSE, SIESS and SWEETMAN. Early records of the name mention Suet (without surname) listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. The earliest hereditary surnames in England are found shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and are of Norman French origin rather than native English. On the arrival of the Normans they identified themselves by references to the estates from which they came in northern France. These names moved rapidly on with their bearers into Scotland and Ireland. Others of the Norman Invaders took names from the estates in England which they had newly acquired. Other instances of the name mention Johannes Suete of Yorkshire who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Robert and Joanna Sweete were married in London in the year of 1578. Baptised. Ann Sweet, St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1700. A notable member of the name was Henry Sweet (1845-1912) the English philologist, pioneer of Anglo-Saxon philological studies, born in London. As reader in phonetics at Oxford his works include Old and Middle English texts, primers and dictionaries. He constructed a 'Romaic of Language' 1900. Professor Higgins of Bernard Shaw's 'Pygmalion' is based on him. The eagle depicted in the crest is emblematical of fortitude and magnanimity of mind. The Romans used the figure of an eagle for their ensign, and their example has been often followed. It is the device of Russia, Austria, Germany and the United States of America.
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