This unusual and interesting name is Welsh in origin, from the Olde Welsh word 'sais' meaning 'Saxon', or Englishman, and applied to English settlers in Wales and along the borders. The Saxons were a Germanic tribe who in Roman times spread from Schleswig across North West Germany to the Rhine, and raided and settled in parts of southern Britain in the 5th Century and 6th Century. They are thought to have been named from a kind of knife or dagger that they used, in Old German a 'sahs'. The name development (in Shropshire) had included Francis Saise (1594), Andrew Saies (1634), Dorothy Sayes (1643), Abel Sayse (1678), and Ann Saice (1740).One Joan Sayce was married to Stephen Evans on the 2nd March 1651 at Mainstone, Shropshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Em' Seis, which was dated 1255, in the Shropshire Hundred Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as the Frenchman, 1216 - 1272. 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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