Related Names

Swannie or Swanney is a surname that originated in Orkney, Scotland, in the 1600s. A surname distribution analysis of the 1901 census showed that 81% of the 212 Swanneys listed lived in Orkney [1]; the same analysis of the 1841 census showed that 41 out of 44 Swanneys lived in the Orkneys, most in Lady parish, Sanday.[2]

The Orkney histories, J Clouston, has stated that he belived it to be a truncated form of "Swaneson", literally Swein's son. [3] This origin is consitent with a Norse background.