This is one of the most rare of Scottish names. It is a developed or variant form of the Olde Norse personal name "Sveinn" which translates as "Friend" or possibly "Guard", and which was one of the most popular Scandanavian names in both England and Scotland. The usual derivations in Scotland are MacSwan or (possibly) MacSween and MacSwede. Mary Ann MacSwede being christened at St. Nicholas, Aberdeen in 1822, whilst in 1857 Angus McSwede married Eliza Yeomans in Edinburgh. Helen McSwayde was the daughter of Norman McSwayde and Mary (nee Burgess). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Helen McSwayde. which was dated 1872, Baptised at Dingwall in Ross and Cromarty. during the reign of Queen Victoria, The Great White Queen, 1837 - 1901. 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.