This unusual and interesting name is of Norman origin. Introduced into England as 'Poiterin' after the famous Conquest of 1066, it was regional and denoted someone from 'Poitou', a province in Western France. The place name is from the Latin word 'Pictarum', and means the region of the Pictari, the name of the Gaullic tribe, being similar in origin to the British Picts. The surname development has included Adam Petevin of Kent in 1198, David le Poitevin of Staffordshirein 1189, and Preciosa Potewyne of Cambridgeshire in1279.Interestingly, the name has been introduced into England twice. The second time was some six centuries after the first as amongst the French Huguenot refugees who fled to England in the late 17th Century were Jaques and Susanna Portevin. Their son Pierre was christened at the Spitalfields French Huguenot Church, city of London, in September 1699, whilst Ann Portwaine was christened on the 19th August 1804 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Rogerus Petevinus. This was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Essex, during the reign of King William Ist, 1066 - 1087. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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