This unusual surname has two origins. Firstly, it may be a locational name for someone from the French capital Paris, the name of which is derived from that of a Gaulish tribe, recorded in Latin sources as the "Parisii"; the original meaning of the tribal name is unknown. Secondly, it may derive from the rare medieval given name Paris, probably an Old French form of the personal name Patrick (from the Latin "Patricius" meaning son of a noble father, member of the patrician class, the Roman hereditary aristocracy), but is associated with the name of the Trojan prince named Paris, which has been speculatively traced to an original Illyrian form "Voltuparis" or "Assoparis" meaning "Hawk".The surname dates back to the mid 12th Century (see below). London Church Records show the christening of Anne, daughter of John Paris, on December 8th 1588 at St. Michael Poultry, and the christening of Dorothy Paris on April 5th 1683 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. A Coat of Arms granted to a Paris family is silver, a chevron between ten black crosses crosslet. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geruase de Paris, which was dated 1158, in the "Pipe Rolls of London", 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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