The Aims of the Study

The Guild of One Name Studies in it’s book The Seven Pillars of Wisdom¹ describes a One-Name Study as:

“The whole object of one-name research is to study the whole of a family in depth, its migrations, the relationship of various branches, how each has developed its own line and social position, its religious and political beliefs, occupations etc. – merely collecting every instance of the name is not by any means sufficient.”

Iain Swinnerton: founder member and Vice President of the Guild of One-Name Studies

So, although the foundation of this study is the aim to collect all data relating to individuals bearing the Swalwell surname, or its variants², that is by no means the limit of the study.

Ultimately the ambition is to utilise the data gathered to:

  • identify early references to the surname
  • understand the name’s meaning & origin
  • explore the various forms of the surname in terms of true variants² & being able to distinguish them from the deviant² forms of the name
  • investigate the “Swalwell” population or populations and understand their characteristics, e.g. frequency, relative to the general population
  • analyse its distribution geographically & over time
  • establish the patterns of migration associated with its distribution




1:  “Seven Pillars of Wisdom. The Art of One-Name Studies.” Guild of One-Name Studies. April 2012
2:  A variant surname is defined as one that was used by an individual as opposed to a deviant form which is those forms of the surname that are the result of a clerical error