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Sewald Coat of Arms / Sewald Family Crest

Sewald Coat of Arms / Sewald Family Crest

The surname of SEWALD was a baptismal name 'the son of Sewal'. The name was derived from the Old English word Saeweald, meaning sea-power. The name was recorded as Seuuold (without surname) as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Seuuale filius Fulgeri, was recorded in Leicestershire in 1198. Sewallus de Cleton, County Hertforshire, 1273. Sewal atte Ponde was recorded in County Lancashire in 1300. Sewall Dapifer of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. As a personal name Sewal lingered on into the 16th century and Sewall Worth of Titherington, County Cheshire, was recorded in 1520. Francis Hodge married Joanna Sewall, at Westminster, London in the year 1586. Robert Sewall and Jane Ryves were married in Canterbury, Kent in the year 1664. The name has many variant spellings which include SEWILL, SEWELSON and SEWALT. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. The name was also an occupational name for a swineherd, one who looked after the swine, derived from the Old English elements of SU (pig) and HIERD (herd). Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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