- Recorded in a wide variety of spellings including Swede, Sweed, Sweedes, Swade, Sweade, Sweedey, Sweedy, and possibly Sweedley, this is apparently an English surname, with several possible origins. Well recorded in the surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London from the time of King Charles 11nd (1660 - 1685), it is seemingly occupational for a seller of green vegetables. However an alternative origin is that it is possibly nationalistic and locational, and as such a generic name for a former inhabitant of Sweden. None of the known recordings give any clear indication of that source, although it is well known that British people settled in Sweden and the Baltic Countries in the 17th century and earlier, and vice-versa, because of the major timber trade between the countries which still continues. Another possible origin is from the Olde English pre 7th century word "swete", meaning "sweet". This was used in ancient times as a baptismal name of endearment similar to the popular Dear and Darling, all of which in time became surnames. Examples of the surname recordings include John Sweade who married Ann Hudson at St James Clerkenwell on November 23rd 1665, and Elizabeth Sweedey who married Joseph Goddard at St Brides, Fleet Street, on December 30th 1807.
Surnames reference. 2013.
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