The surname of SWINEBANKS was of the locational group of surnames, literally meaning the dweller at the bank where the swine fed. It was also possibly an occupational name for one who looked after the swine. 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. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. The spot is somewhere in or near the parish of Ravenstone, County Westmorland. The names of habitation are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages, farmsteads or other named habitations. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and in fact whole countries. As a general rule, the further someone travelled from his place of origin, the broader the designation. Someone who stayed at home might be known by the name of his farm or locality in the parish; someone who moved to another town might be known by the name of his village; while someone who moved to another county could acquire the name of the county or region from which he originated. Early records of the name mention William de Swinbanke who appears in 1278 in County Northumberland. Reynold Swynbank was documented in Westmorland in the year 1541, and Cuthbert Swynebank appears there in 1542.
The arms depicted here have been quartered with SWYNE and BANKS. Both the associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
Orders over $90 qualify for Free Shipping within the U.S. (Use coupon code: FREESHIP).