This interesting surname is of Old French origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066, and has two possible sources. Firstly, the surname may derive from the Old French "saintier", a bell-founder, and would have been an occupational name for a craftsman who not only made bells, but also cast buckles and other fittings for belts, or pots, or bells. Job descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. In some instances, it may be a nickname surname, given perhaps originally to a vehement supporter of King John (1199 - 1216) whose nickname was "Lackland", as the derivation is from the Old French "sans", without, and "terre", land.The surname is first recorded in the mid 12th Century (see below) and can also be found as Santer, Senter and Center. Benedict le Seintier is listed in the 1197 Pipe Rolls of London, and Simon le Scinter was witness in the 1219 Assize Court Rolls of Yorkshire. Recordings of the surname from Yorkshire Church Registers include: the christening of Josua, son of John Sainter, on January 24th 1602 at Snaith; the christening of Elizabeth, daughter of Peter Sainter, on August 24th 1621 at Pontefract; and the marriage of George Sainter and Elizabeth Richardson on March 24th 1629 at Snaith. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edmund Seintier, which was dated 1060, in the "Early London Personal Names", 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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