• 24 members

About us

Welcome to this project. 

Although titled Swaysland Surname Project, if you have matches to persons with the surname Swaysland (either Y-DNA or mtDNA tests result matching) or with similarly spelled surnames,  you are welcome to press the orange <JOIN> button.

Having joined, you may not think much has happened, but in due course you will receive a welcome email, setting out certain "house rules".  An example of these are that you supply, as best as you are able, your family tree going back as far as you can with any certainty to Janet Kelly.  (Janet is the genealogy administrator of this project).

Your administrators are:
 Gail Riddell for DNA queries  riddelldna@gmail.com
 Janet Kelly for genealogy queries    jekelly@xtra.co.nz 

The name of Swaysland is a rare and unusual one, and in the past seems to be found only in the western part of Sussex or in the border villages between Sussex and Kent,England.  There has been no clear meaning given as to the origin of the name:

The name has had many different variations of spelling in ancient records. As far back as 1203 can be found the name Swonesland. Other spelling seen in records such as wills and land documents over many hundreds of years, have been: Swayneslonde, Swannesland, Swanlands, Swaynesland, Swanesland, Swaiseland, Swarlande, Swaynesland, Swailand, Swaylande, Swasland.

The first time the name SWAYSLAND as we know it today entered the picture, was when in 1592, Tomasine SWAYSLAND married a Willa Christopher. In modern times there appears to be just two variation of the name and they are SWAYSLAND and SWAISLAND.


From The Internet:


This interesting and unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from a now 'lost' place thought to have been situated in Sussex, near its border with Surrey. An estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets in Britain are known to have disappeared since the 12th Century, due to natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348,during which an eighth of the population perished, and to the widespread practice of enforced 'clearing' of large areas of rural land to make sheep pastures during the boom in the wool trade of the 14th and 15th Centuries. The placename Swaisland or Swaysland means 'land divided by swathes', derived from the Old English pre 7th Century 'swaeth, swathu', swathe, originally the space covered by the mower's scythe, and here used in the sense of longitudinal division of a field, with 'land', land, specifically a portion of an estate.  The surname can be found as Swaisland and Swaysland, mainly in the southern counties of England.  

The marriage of Richard Swaysland and Mary Grove was recorded at East Grinstead, Sussex, on May 6th 1700. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margaret Swaiseland (christening), which was dated November 24th 1560, East Grinstead, Sussex, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, 'Good Queen Bess', 1558-1603. 

Surnamesbecame necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Read more: www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Swaysland#ixzz1wh2bEVl3


We look forward to hearing from you and attempting to answer your questions.  (We will usually copy one another into any emails we send to you).

Kind regards
Gail 'n Janet