Our family emanated from the City of Oxford in England where there are two records of families living in 'hovels' or 'holes in the
wall' The city wall around Oxford was probably a clay embankment with caves dug into the side. One family paid 40 old English pence a year rent and the other lived rent free in
return for maintaining the wall in good repair.
The family paying rent for their accommodation were 'Moneyers' and were licensed to produce coin of the realm. Five coins (William I Silver Pennies 1066 - 1087) reside on display
in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford that have the name SǷETMAN stamped on the reverse.
Also, there is one coin in the William Conte Collection at The Fitzwilliam Museum in
We also have one of these silver coins which obviously, is very much treasured dated 1072 -1074 !
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The 'A' in the name
of Sweatman is an option that developed much later
The 'W' within the name is represented by a letter (Ƿ) that looks very similar to a p but is narrower and the curved
part descends at 45° to meet the descending stroke and named (wynn, win or wen) and is descended from a Saxon 'runic' letter.
This information is documented in the Doomsday Book which is the
first Inventory of England in the year 1086. The extract is from the Oxfordshire volume which refers to the centre of the city, within the city wall.
Our complete family ancestry line can be traced back prior to 1600, certainly to the site of the Battle of Edge Hill, one of the great battles of the English Civil War. The family later
spread out from Oxford into many surrounding villages.
Up to the late 1800's, our family lived and farmed land around Shennington in Oxfordshire. The land including the farm
cottages, was rented or leased from the Oriel College, Oxford.