- This name is of English locational origin from a place thus called near Congleton in Cheshire. Recorded as Suetenham in the 1183 Pipe Rolls of that county and as Swetenham in the 1259 Chester City Court Rolls, the first element is the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name Sweta, from "Swete" meaning "pleasant" and "agreeable", plus "ham" translating variously as an "estate, manor or homestead", hence, "Sweta's Homestead". The surname is first recorded towards the end of the 13th Century, (see below). On June 26th 1561, William Swettenham and Agnes Plante were married in Prestbury, Cheshire and on August 22nd 1634, Jane Swettenham married on John Hils in St. Margaret's, Westminster. On April 23rd 1988 Ray Swettenham of Leytonstone, London married Caroline Crowley, (Schull) in the Church of the Seven Sacraments, Lowerton Schull, Co. Cork, Ireland. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Swetenham, which was dated 1297, in the "Records of East Cheshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as the Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.