Last name: Springer

This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a diminutive nickname for a lively, nimble person, the diminutive suffix "-ette", denoting the "son of" or "little", and it would therefore be given to a young man. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "springan", meaning to jump, or leap, which is also found in Springer. This is an example of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These were given in the first instance with reference to occupation, or to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, or to habits of dress. The name is rare, the early recordings all being for the South East of England, one of the earliest recordings, and a dialectal variant being Alice Spryngot of Kent, circa 1331. Among recordings from London Church Registers are: the marriage of Ellen Springett to Randall Bates on March 20th 1580, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney; the marriage of Mary Springett to Isaac Penington on May 13th 1654, at St. Margaret's, Westminster; and the christening of Ann, daughter of Georgett and Elizabeth Springett, on June 22nd 1656, at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Springet, which was dated 1262, in the "Pipe Rolls of Essex", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1266 - 1272. 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.

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