Recorded in the spellings of Sallnow, Sallnew, Salenow, and no doubt others as well, the origination is almost certainly French Huguenot. It derives from the Langedoc surname 'Sallinier', a producer of salt, or possibly the Savoyan 'Salina', a locational or regional surname which describes one from the 'salines'. These regions were strongly protestant in the 15th to 17th centuries, and caused the French government considerable problems, or so it was claimed. After the repeal of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, these regions were swamped with catholic sympathizers supported by the military, and they introduced impossible conditions which the protestants refused to accept.In the resulting civil war many of the refugees fled to England, where they formed whole colonies in the old working class areas of London, particularly south of the river. Spelling not being a strong point of English culture, and the English of the refugees being at best limited, this lead to the production of literally hundreds of 'sounds like' surnames of continental origins, of which this is a good example. Early recordings include George Sellnow on October 21 1770, Catharine Salnow at St Katherines by the Tower (of London), on December 10th 1775, and Lawrence Christian Sallnow, christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on August 23rd 1798. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Archibald Salina, which was dated June 19th 1744, a witness at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, during the reign of King George 11, known as 'The last soldier king', 1727 - 1760. 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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