The surname of SWINSON was derived from the Old Norman 'sveinn' an occupational name, the boy servant. The name was brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1086.Many modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. The addition of their profession to their birth name made it easier to identify individual tradesmen and craftsmen. As generations passed and families moved around, so the original identifying names developed into the corrupted but simpler versions that we recognise today. The name is also spelt SWINTON, SWAYNE, SUANI, SWAISNON and SWAIN. Early records of the name mention Eduuardus filius Suani, listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Robertus filius Swain, 1219, County Yorkshire. Adam filius Suani of Lincolnshire, was documented in 1273. Robertus Swayne of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. James Swainson of Ulverston, was listed in the Lancashire Wills at Richmond in 1583. The name was taken to Scotland early and Swein Ulfkills was a witness in King Edgar's charter granting Swinton to the Monks of St. Cuthbert, circa. 1100 Elyas Sweyn was the constable at Locres in 1250. James Swayne was a tenant of Bordland in the barony of Kylbouho in 1376. Patrick Swane was a charter witness in Glasgow in 1474, and Peter Swayn was a tenant in Hylle of Mossplat in 1533. George Swayne was a tenant of Newtounleis in 1559. Most of the European surnames 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.
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