This unusual and interesting name is a medieval English occupational surname for a 'skinner', someone who stripped the hide from animals, to be tanned for leather. 'Skinner' is the more familiar form of this surname, deriving from the Middle English 'skin', meaning hide or pelt, from the Old Norse 'skinn'. The variants Shinn, Shynn and Shinner are much rarer, and derive from the Olde English pre 7th Century word 'scinn', meaning hide. One 'Elizabeth Shyne' was married to 'Richard Tarrowe' at North Wingfield in Derbyshire on the 12th September 1579. 'Sarah Shinn', daughter of John and Judith, was christened in April 1643 at St. Botolph without Aldgate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Herveus Schin, which was dated 1165, in the Suffolk Pipe Rolls, 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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