Family History Notebook

Surnames of the United Kingdom by Henry Harrison and Gytha Pulling
published by The Eaton Press, London 1912

The entries on page 204 include


} (Eng. and Scand.) Bel. to Swindale ; or Dweller at the SWINE-VALLEY [O.E. swin = O.N. suin + O.E. dæl = O.N. dal-r]
SWINDLE Swindale, Westmd., was Swindale c. 1200.


} pl., and genit., of Swindell, Swindle.
SWINDLES But the Chesh. Swindells are said to owe their name to a spot called Swyndelves
[O.E. ge)delf, a ditch, trench] in the 14th cent.

SWINDLEHURST (Eng.) Dweller at
1     the SWINE-DALE WOOD [v. under Swindale and + O.E. hyrst, a wood]
2     the SWINE-LEA WOOD [v. under Swinley, and +O.E.hyrst]
A 'John Swinlehurst' occurs in a Lanc. doct. A.D. 1576
SWINGLEHURST for Swindlehurst, q.v. [cp 'shingle' from 'shindle']
SWINGLER (Eng.) SWINGLE-USER ; FLAX-DRESSER [f.  M.E. swinglen (M.Dutch swingelen), to beat flax;  O.E. swinglian (O.E. swingell, swingle, a beating, stroke)]



1    P.H.Reaney in his 1958 preface to his Dictionary of British Surnames is somewhat dismissive of Harrison's Dictionary and the entries for Swindell, etc seem derivative from Bardsley's earlier dictionary of 1901.

1    It seems to me to be unlikely that 'swingling' would be a distinguishing occupation at the time of surname formation in the fourteenth century. A consonant shift from Swindle to Swingle - as suggested above for Swinglehurst and as apparently occurred with the word 'shingle' from shindle for a wooden roof slate - appears more likely.

2    More information about Swyndelves.