- This interesting name is of early medieval English origin, and is a nickname surname for a popular or attractive person, or for somebody who habitually addressed people with the Middle English term "swetin", meaning darling, or sweetheart. It could also derive from the medieval given name, originally an Olde English pre 7th Century patronymic of "Swet(a)" from the Olde English "swete", sweet, pleasant, agreeable. One Richard Swetyne was listed in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk in 1273, as was Thomas Swetyene. The Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire mention a Willelmus Swyting in 1379. Coats of Arms were granted to Sweeting families at Canterbury in Kent and Brickmaller in Somerset, the latter depicting three gold triple violins on a red shield. One Samuell Sweeting was "attainted of High Treason" in the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685, and with ninety-nine other prisoners so convicted, was transported to the Isle of Barbados. Also travelling to Barbados, this time voluntarily, was one John Sweating aboard the "Peter Bonaventure" on the April 3rd 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Sweting, which was dated 1250, in the "Fees of Wiltshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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.