The surname McSwine is of Irish origin. The name is an anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Suibhne, ‘son of Suibhne’, a byname meaning pleasant. The family descends from one Suibhne, a Scottish chieftain who flourished around 1200 in Argyll. There is no record of the Sweeneys in historical archives until the twelfth century were the death of Murrough MacSweeney is recorded, Grandson of Suibhne. He was one of the famous MacSweeney gallowglasses. This word ( galloglach ) denotes a paid fighting man retained permanently as such by an Irish chief, often ( though not necessarily) brought over in the first instance from Scotland. Although soldiering was there regular occupation this did not prevent them from becoming an Irish sept ( a family group of shared ancestry living in the same locality). The family descend from a mixture of Irish Dalriadic Gaels and Norseman. From the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries they played an important part in the military history of Ireland. They suffered after the seventeenth-century wars and many went into exile, becoming distinguished soldiers in t… Coat of arms: Argent thr…
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