This interesting and unusual surname, recorded in London church registers from the late 17th Century, derives from the Medieval English and old French personal name "Sa(i)nt" or "Seint", itself coming from the Latin "Sanctus" meaning blameless, holy. This personal name was especially popular on the Continent during the Middle Ages, having been borne by a 9th Century martyr of Cordova, (Southern Spain). The surname from this derivation is widespread in France, and in Catalonia, (North East Spain), where it also takes the form Sanz. A Coat of Arms granted to the Sans family of Iles Balears, (the Balearic Islands), a province of Spain, is recorded heraldically in Rietstap's "Armorial General", and is divided per fess, blue and silver, with a semi circle of six stars arranged around a larger central star in the upper half, and two hands, vested red, bearing the laurel branch of victory, in the lower half. On May 3rd 1829 George Frederick, son of Benjamin Sans, was christened in St. Leonards, Shoreditch, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edward Sans, (christening), which was dated September 26th 1690, Allhallows, London Wall, London, during the reign of King William 111, "William of Orange and England", 1689 - 1702. 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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