This most unusual and interesting name is one of the variant forms of the surname more usually found as Senior or Seyner. The name is Old French in origin, introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066, and derives from a nickname or occupational surname from the Old French "segneur", lord, from the Latin "senior", elder. As a nickname, this would have been used of someone who gave himself airs and graces, or as a distinguishing epithet for the senior or elder of two people of the same name. As an occupational surname, Senior and its variant forms was used for someone in the service of a great lord. Early examples of the surname include: Hugh Seinure (1212, Norfolk); Thomas le Senyur (1272, Staffordshire); and Henry Senior (1279, Oxfordshire), while the modern forms range from Senior, Seignior, Senier and Senyard, to Sinyer, Seynor, Seener, Seeney and Ce(e)ney. Recordings from London Church Registers include: the marriage of Edmond Ceney and Margery Brackkett, at St. Gregory by St. Paul, on November 10th 1637, and the marriage of Thomas Ceeney and Sarah Spencer on September 29th 1714, at St. Mary Magdalene, Old Fish Street. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Seignure, which was dated 1164, in the "Pipe Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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