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Surname Swearingen - Meaning and Origin

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Discovering the Roots of Name Swearingen: An Enlightening iGENEA DNA Experience

Embarking on an intriguing journey into my lineage with iGENEA, I discovered the fascinating history of my family name, Swearingen. Originating from the British Isles, my analysis traced the migration pathways, connected me to distant relatives and revealed genetic traits, providing an enthralling look into my ancestry and a deeper understanding of my identity.

U. Swearingen

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Swearingen: What does the surname Swearingen mean?

The last name Swearingen is a German surname, first found in Westphalia. The name is derived from the word "swear," denoting someone who made a living by taking oaths for legal proceedings or other formal decisions. It is a type of profession name, with a particular occupation or trade associated with it.

In its original German form, the name is "Schweringen," and the variant "Swearingen" first appeared in the United States in the mid-18th century. It became a fixture in Pennsylvania, and later spread to other states. The name has also been associated with branches of German nobility, such as the three brothers Herman, Copman and Ekbert von Schweringen who filled important positions in the court of Archbishop Christian von Woolband in the 13th century.

Swearingen is a relatively rare surname in the United States, with only an estimated 0.02% of the population bearing the name. It is most common in Pennsylvania, followed by Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, and Delaware. It is an old and established surname, with a long history in Germany. The name not only reflects the profession of the original bearers, but also the influence of established German nobility and the reverence for the rule of law.

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Swearingen: Where does the name Swearingen come from?

The last name Swearingen is most commonly found in the United States, particularly in those states that form the traditional "Bible Belt" of the South and Midwest, including Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee. It has a long history in these areas, possibly going back to the early 1700s, when the first known Swearingen family settled in what is now Union County, Kentucky. The family eventually spread through much of the region, and today its members still live in many of these states.

In a modern context, Swearingen is a fairly common last name. It ranks at the 10,670th most common name in the US, according to data from the 2000 census. This puts the name at about the midpoint for last names in terms of frequency. Despite being more common overall than in pre-industrial times, it still has its roots firmly planted in the American Southeast and Midwest. As such, the majority of people bearing the surname today still live in the region.

Variations of the surname Swearingen

The surname Swearingen is derived from old German words, and has a variety of spellings, variations, and derivatives. The most common spelling is Swearingen, but it can also be spelled Swaringen or Swaringean. Variations of this name include Swarin, Swaring, Swaringe, Swaringer, Swearinger, and Swearingian.

The surname Swearingen is of German origin, having its roots in the Rhineland-Palatinate region. It is derived from the German “swering”, which is derived from the Middle Dutch word “swar” meaning both “oath” and “warning”. This surname finds its earliest record in the Rhineland-Palatinate in the early 1400s, when one Walther Swearingen was recorded there.

The Swearingen surname is believed by some to be derived from the German “Swarznagel”, which literally translates to black nail. This origin claims that the surname was used as an occupational name for a blacksmith who made nails, though others have dismissed this as folkloric.

Other surnames of similar origin to Swearingen include Swart, Swarts, Schwartzen, Schwartzman, and Schwarzwalder. These are all variations of the same German words, but are slightly different spellings. However, all have the same meaning related to black and warning.

Famous people with the name Swearingen

  • Bonnie Jo Swearingen, American Olympic diver
  • Carlos Swearingen, American Major League Baseball player
  • Casey Swearingen, American singer-songwriter
  • Cindy Swearingen, American politician
  • Colby Swearingen, American indie musician
  • Gregory Gaye Swearingen, American screenwriter
  • Harrison Swearingen, American free jazz trumpeter
  • Jeff Swearingen, American actor
  • Jesse Swearingen, American mixed martial artist
  • Joanne Swearingen, American sociologist
  • Jonny Swearingen, Swiss singer-songwriter
  • Mike Swearingen, American singer-songwriter
  • Rodney Swearingen, American rodeo champion
  • Sarah Swearingen, American figure skater
  • Tawny Swearingen, American actress
  • Taylor Swearingen, American soccer goalkeeper
  • Text Swearingen, American playwright
  • William Swearingen, American watercolor artist

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Comments or additions to the name "Swearingen"

My name is Robert Clay Swearingen. I've started digging into my family tee. Lately. I live in south Mississippi but believe my family comes fro Kentucky or Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee area. I would love to find out more about my family and Family Crest and Coat of Arms.

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