This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible sources. Firstly, the surname may be a topographical name for a "dweller by the willows", deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "sealh", willow. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Secondly, the name may be locational, from a minor place called Sallies, near Kinnersley in Herefordshire, which is named with the same Olde English element as above. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Robert ate Salwe is noted in the 1297 Ministers' Accounts of the Earldom of Cornwall. In the modern idiom the surname has many spelling variations ranging from Sallow, Sallis(s) and Salis, to Sallus, Sallies and Salace. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the marriage of John Sallus and Agnes Michell on February 28th 1623, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, and the christening of William, son of Samuel and Jane Salliss, at St. Botolph without Aldersgate, on December 15th 1723. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas de Sallowe, which was dated 1254, in the "Hundred Rolls of Shropshire", 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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