This interesting surname is also found with variant spellings Fin and Fines. It is derived from the Old French "fin" meaning delicate, skilled or cunning; hence it originated as a nickname for a clever or elegant man. The ultimate origin is the Latin "finis" meaning end or extremity, later used as an adjective in the sense of ultimate or excellent. The surname is first recorded towards the end of the 12th Century, (see below). On October 5th 1600, Jan Fine son of Lieuin Fine was christened in the French Huguenot Church, Threadneedle St., London, suggesting that some name bearers may be of French Huguenot extraction. On February 2nd 1645, Mary Fine married Thomas Hinshaw in St. James, Clerkenwell, London. One of the earliest namebearers in the New World is Richard Fine, registered as an inhabitant of Mulbury Island on January 25th 1624, having come over in the Neptune. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Fine, which was dated 1196, in the Pipe Rolls of Warwickshire, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard 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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