This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a regional surname for someone who came from the county of Essex. As with many English county names, "Essex" represents the name of the tribe that inhabited the district; the name derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "east", east, with "Seaxe", Saxons, thus "(region of) the East Saxons". The county names Sussex, Middlesex and the old name Wessex are, respectively, the "South Saxons", "Middle Saxons" and "West Saxons". The county name Essex is recorded in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicles" as "East Seaxe" Domesday Book of 1086 it appears as in the Warwickshire Feet of Fines for 1246, and interestingly, the modern surname is now found mainly in that county. Among recordings of the name in London is that of the marriage of John Essex and Katherin Barber on January 21st 1554, at St. Mary Woolnoth. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Suein de Essexa, which was dated 1114 - 1116, Charter of Ancient Rolls, London, during the reign of King Henry 1, "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 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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