This interesting and most unusual name, rare in England is believed to be of Italian origin, deriving from the Roman word "cyathus", meaning "ladle for filling drinking-cups or a liquid measure", hence, it may have been occupational for a maker of ladles or even for someone who worked in a public house, or an official who was responsible for measuring or filling drinks. The name is found in England in the modern idiom as Syplus, Cuphus and Syfax, and first appears in records relatively late in the mid 18th Century (see below). The London church registers record the marriage of one John Syfax married Catherine Mann at St. Dunstan, Stepney on May 17th 1793. William Syphus married Elizabett Barrett at Great Rissington Gloucestershire on October 12th 1830. On April 13th 1851, one Christiana Syphus was christened in London. Ellen Cyphus married George Paul at St. Marylebone, All Souls, London on April 21st 1861. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mathew Syphus, who married Sarah Pratle, which was dated November 23rd 1756, At Shipton Under Wychwood, Oxfordshire, during the reign of King George 11, known as "The Last Warrior King", 1727 - 1760. 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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