Recorded in England in the spellings of Saint, Sante, Sainte, Saynt, Sant, Sainty, and others, this is a very unusual surname. It is derived from the orginal Roman (Latin) word "sanctus" meaning blameworthy, and in its different forms is recorded in every Christian country and in over forty individual spellings. These include Sant and Saunt (French), Santos and Sains (Spanish), Santucci and Santello (Italian), and Santesson (Swedish). The name was originally a nickname for a pious person or perhaps given the robust humour of the period - the complete reverse! It was also sometimes locational as in the Spanish and Portugese surnames of Di Santos, Do Santos and Dossantos, which describe a person who came from a place called Santos. The surname in any spelling is first recorded in England in the 13th century (see below), and these early recordings include Hugh Sant in the pipe rolls of the Abbey of Ramsey, in Cambridgeshire, in 1270, whilst Elizabeth Sainte married William Arrowesmith on July 21st 1572 at St. Gregory's by St. Paul's, in the city of London, Ann, the daughter of John Saint, was christened at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, on November 27th 1608, whilst William Sainty was recorded at St Anne's Soho, on June 5th 1815. The first recorded spelling of the family name in any form is believed to be that of Roger le Sent. This was dated 1250, in the Chartulary of Rievaux Abbey, North Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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