This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is one of the variant forms of the more common surname Selway. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Saelwig", which is composed of the elements "sael", good fortune, happiness, and "wig", war. The personal name is recorded as "Salewi" (de Blithesdune) in the 1185 Records of the Templars in Somerset, and the surname from this source is first recorded in the late 13th Century (see below). The variant forms in most counties in England, where the development includes: Joan Selvye (1587, Devonshire); Oliver Selvie (1597, Warwickshire); William Silvey (1595, London); and Thomas Selvy (1607, Lincolnshire). The marriage of Thomas Selvey and Ann Noble was recorded at Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, on August 13th 1642. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Salewy, which was dated 1275, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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