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Swan Family History

Swan Surname Meaning

English: occupational name from Middle English swon(e) northern Middle English swan(e) ‘swineherd; peasant; male servant’ (Old English swān). Compare Swain 2 with which this name was thoroughly confused. English: occasionally perhaps a nickname from Middle English swan swon ‘swan’. In the Middle Ages the swan was taken as a symbol of false pride and according to Chaucer jealousy. Compare Kite Nightingale and Pye . English: from the Middle English and Older Scots personal name Swan an Anglicized form of Old Norse Sveinn. Compare Swain English: in addition the name may occasionally also have been topographic or habitational referring to a house or inn distinguished by the sign of a swan (see 2 above). Surnames derived from house and inn signs are rare in English. Irish: Anglicized form of Mac Suibhne (see Sweeney ) as well as an adoption of the Old Norse personal name in 3 above. Swedish: variant mostly Americanized of Svan an ornamental name from svan ‘swan’. Compare Swahn .7: Americanized form of German Schwan .8: Americanized form of Norwegian Svang: habitational name from a farm name in southeastern Norway derived from a word meaning ‘bend curve; narrow passage’.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022

Similar surnames: Swain, Bean, Sand, Span, Shan, Way, Shean, Wan, Swab, Sas

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Where is the Swan family from?

You can see how Swan families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Swan family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Swan families were found in USA in 1880. In 1891 there were 726 Swan families living in London. This was about 15% of all the recorded Swan's in United Kingdom. London had the highest population of Swan families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Swan surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Swan ancestors do for a living?

In 1939, General Labourer and Unpaid Domestic Duties were the top reported jobs for men and women in the United Kingdom named Swan. 9% of Swan men worked as a General Labourer and 66% of Swan women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Swan were Carpenter and Housewife. .

View Census Data for Swan | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations In 1939

  • General Labourer
  • Builders Labourer
  • Railway Clerk
  • Carpenter

Top Female Occupations In 1939

  • Unpaid Domestic Duties
  • Private Means
  • Unpaid Domestic
  • Housewife
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Swan family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 300,000 census records available for the last name Swan. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Swan census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search UK census records for Swan

Passenger Lists

There are 39,000 immigration records available for the last name Swan. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the UK, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Swan immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 34,000 military records available for the last name Swan. For the veterans among your Swan ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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What is the average Swan lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Swan life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 1999. The average life expectancy for Swan in 1940 was 37, and 76 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Swan

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