Is your Surname registered?

Our 2,766 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

I began tracing my family history in 1999.
My father knew very little about his Swadling roots and he wasn't even aware that his grandfather came from the county of Berkshire, England. When I began looking into my father's family I thought that there would be very few Swadlings about. How wrong I was. There are hundreds dotted around the world.
I registered the name of Swadling with the Guild of One-Name Studies in March 2003 as I thought it was a reasonably rare surname to research and would be an ideal name to conduct a study on.
Besides my commitment to collecting as many occurrences of the surname as possible, the aim of this study is to offer help and assistance to anyone who is researching their Swadling family history and trying to discover their ancestors. Unfortunately over the years I have had very few enquires about my study so my assumptions of the name being rare were correct.

Variant names

The variants I have registered are Swadlin, Swaddling, Swadlinge and Swadlen.

Name origin

I have not been able to find absolute proof of the origin of the Swadling name.
It could be linked to Swaddling clothes. How I dreaded the Christmas nativity play when the narrator spoke verse 7 from Chapter 2 of the Gospel according to St Luke of the New Testament. " and she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. "
There is a possibility that Swadlings came from Swadlincote in Derbyshire, England. According to  Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Swadlincote's name is derived from the Old English "Swartlings Cottas", Swartling being a man's name and cottas meaning cottages. Unfortunately I have not found any Swadlings who were born in the area.
Another possibility is that Swadlings came from Swaythling, a suburb of the city of Southampton in Hampshire, England. According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, it was recorded as Swæthelinge in 909 AD and before 1895 it was referred to as Swathling village.

Historical occurrences of the name


Name frequency

According to an ONS database there were 533 Swadlings and 61 Swaddlings in England and Wales in 2002 and they are ranked 10,824 and 44,978 in popularity.

Distribution of the name

Some of the earliest records show that Swadling(e)s were living in Sunningwell and South Hinksey in Berkshire, England from the mid 1500's.
By the early 1600's Swadlings had moved into Oxfordshire and Greater London. By the mid 1700's Swadlings had also moved in Sussex. The migration continued and by the late 1700's and early 1800's there were Swadlings in Buckinghamshire and Kent. By the mid 1800's Swadlings had reached Surrey.
There were 287 Swad(d)lings listed on the 1881 census produced by the Church of Latter Day Saints with the majority living in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Sussex. There were also 22 Swadlings listed on the 1880 United States census and 10 on the 1881 Canadian census.

In 1881 my Great Grandfather James Swadling, who was born in Berkshire in 1851, had moved to the West Midlands and was living with his wife Emily and their children Frank Edward and Ada in Wednesbury, Staffordshire. James and Emily had four more children by the time of the 1901 census, Kate, George Albert, Frederick and Dora Emily and had moved to Birmingham in the county of Warwickshire.


I have an extensive names database and produced several large family trees for the main counties of England
I have collected the following data:-

 * General Register Office Indexes for Births, Marriages and Deaths from 1837 onwards

* Indexes of Wills and Administrations from 1858 onwards

* U K Census returns from 1841 onwards

* Information from the 1939 register


I am still in the process of collecting the following data:-

* Parish registers for Births, Marriages and Deaths in England

* USA and Canadian census returns



I have very recently added a DNA project to my study.

DNA project