I started researching my ancestors just over 30 years ago, and as Swalwell is a relatively rare surname I started collecting information on any individual bearing the Swalwell surname. This evolved into a one-name study and the study was registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies in 2012.

The main aim of the study is to research all Swalwell name bearers worldwide. The aim of the website is to share the results of that study and provide a resource to help those researching their Swalwell family history to break through their brick walls and track their ancestors back through time. It is also hoped that it will satisfy the curiosity of those who are simply interested in the meaning or history of the Swalwell surname. 

There are several components to the study:

  • Data: the study aims to collect all available information on individuals bearing the Swalwell, Swallwell or Swallowell surname worldwide.
  • Analysis: utilisation of the data collected to understand the distribution, history & origins of the Swalwell surname & its variants.
  • Genealogy: re-construction of family trees and identification of the different branches of the name bearers. There are currently 14 discrete branches within the database of nearly 7000 individuals.
  • DNA: the Swalwell DNA study has been set up to help explore whether there is a single or multiple genetic source for bearers of the Swalwell, Swallwell and Swallowell surname. It is also hoped that the study of DNA, both Y-DNA and autosomal, can help consolidate the branches into a bigger tree. So if you fancy sharing an existing test, doing a test or simply want to know more than do get in touch.
  • Collaboration: The hope is that the study, this website and the Swalwell Family & Surname Study Group on facebook will become a focus and forum for all those researching the surname where we can all share our research, information, knowledge and family stories.

Inevitably the study will always be work in progress and there will always be a time lag between what appears on these pages and the information that has been extracted and is available. This is particularly true at this stage as we try to get the website set up and start the process of entering the data and records we hold so please ask if we can help or register your interest and we will keep you updated on progress. To register please go to the “People & Families” page on the website.

Sue Swalwell


This study is registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies which also hosts this website & the Data Archive for the Study