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About the study
There are over twenty known variant spellings of the surname known to have occurred within the family. These include Swansborough, Swanbrough, Swanbrow, Swanboro, Swanbro, Swansbro, Swornbury, Swansbuary, Swainsbury (but not Sainsbury) and Swansbury.
In the heart of Wiltshire is the Swanborough Hundred, established over a thousand years ago. Since the earliest known occurrences of our surname are found in the records from towns and villages in this Hundred (mostly in the area between Devizes and Pewsey) we assume that the place-name has given rise to the surname.
History of the name
The name Swanborough itself may derive from the Anglo-Saxon Swana Beorh or Swinbeorg. On an ancient bounday line near Pewsey is the site of the Swanborough Tump (see picture), where the Court of the Swanborough Hundred used to meet. It is said that King Alfred and his brother drew up their wills there before a battle with the Danes in 871 A.D.
Distribution of the name
The family started to disperse from the confines of Wiltshire in the late 1700s, and now it occurs in many anglophone countries. We already have links with the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.