This name, with variant spellings Saines, Saiens, Sannes, Sa(u)nt and Saint derives from the Anglo-French 'seint', (Old French 'Sant'), meaning 'saint', and was originally given as a nickname to a notably pious person, or perhaps in an ironic sense to one who affected to be better than his neighbours. The surname was first recorded in the mid 13th Century, (see below). One, Hugh Sant appears in 'The Court Rolls of the Abbey of Ramsey', Cambridgeshire, dated 1270. On February 15th 1579 Ann Saines, an infant was christened in St.Nicholas Acons, London, and in 1596 Joan Sannes married John Smith in Thorrington, Essex. Jacques, son of Pierre Saiens and Clere le Mair, was christened in the French Huguenot Church, Threadneedle Street, London, on March 20th 1642, and in 1698 Robert Sains and Mary French were married in Steeple Bumpstead, Essex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger le Sent, which was dated circa 1250 in the 'Chartulary of Rievalle Abbey', Yorkshire, 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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