This interesting surname is a metonymic occupational name for one who weighs with a balance, deriving from the Anglo French "balance", Old French "balancier". The surname dates back to the late 12th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Roger Balaunce, witness, (1221), "The Assize Rolls of Warwickshire", and Thomas le Balauncer (1283), "The Calendar of Letter Books of the city of London". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Ballans, Ballence, etc. One Susanna, daughter of Edward Ballance, was christened on September 11th 1642, and his son Samuell was christened on October 2nd 1643, both at St. Lawrence Jewry and St. Mary Magdalene, Milk Street, London. Sarah, daughter of Edward and Dorcas Ballance, was christened at St. Martin Pomeroy, London, on May 20th 1650, and Edward Ballence married Joane Stephenson on August 27th 1672, at St. Dunstan in the East, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Balance, witness, which was dated 1196, "The Feet of Fines of Warwickshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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