This ancient name is of Old French origin, introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. It derives from the Old French and later Middle English male personal name "Seluein", ultimately of Latin origin, from the given name "Silvanus", a derivative of "silva", wood, which was bestowed in honour of various minor early Christian saints. One Siluein de Torp is recorded in the Warwickshire Pipe Rolls of 1170, and Ricardus filius (son of) Seluein is listed in the Northamptonshire Feet of Fines of 1195.There is a second possible derivation of the surname, however from the Old French term "salvagin", wild, savage, untamed, used as a nickname for someone thought to behave in a particularly wild, uncontrolled or "uncivilized" manner. The 1242 Lincolnshire Book of Fees record Geoffrey Salvan and Hugo Salveyn, and one Robert Selveyn appears in the Staffordshire Assize Court Rolls of 1244. Examples of the name from Church Registers include the marriage of Edward Salvin and Katherine Clark at Barnborough, Yorkshire, on June 7th 1562, and the marriage of Richard Salvin and Betena Wood on February 8th 1589, at Manby in Lincolnshire. The family Coat of Arms is a silver shield with two gold mullets on a black chief; the Crest is a green dragon, wings elevated and endorsed proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Salven, which was dated 1170, in the "Chartulary of Rievaulx Abbey", Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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