This interesting surname is of early medieval English and Old French origin, and is an example of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to occupation or a variety of qualities, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, including supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, or to habits of dress. In this instance, the derivation is from the Middle English and Old French "patience", patience, from the Latin "patientia", from "pati", to endure, and originally denoted a long-suffering individual, or perhaps someone who had represented the abstract virtue in a medieval morality play.In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Patience and Patient. On August 15th 1619, Francis Patience was christened in Ashe and Dean, Hampshire, and William Patient married Mathie Noble on January 10th 1639, at St. Katherine in the Tower, London. Thomas Patient or Patience, who went to New England between 1630 and 1635, was an early emigrant missionary to America. Upon his return to England, he was appointed by parliament "to dispense the gospel in the city of Dublin". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anne Pacient, which was dated May 10th 1584, marriage to Edward Nossiter, at St. Stephen and St. Benet Sherehoh, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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