This interesting and uncommon name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational surname for someone who made and/or sold sieves. The name derives form the Old English pre 7th Century 'syfe, sife', sieve, related to the Old Norse 'sef', reed with a hollow stalk, in Middle English 'sive', with Old English 'wyrhta, wryhta', craftsman, a derivative of 'wyrcan', to work, make, in Middle English 'wrycht, wricht'. In medieval England 'wright' was a common occupational name for a maker of machinery or objects, mostly in wood, and is found in several combinations, such as Cartwright and Wainwright. Sieves were used in the Middle Ages mainly for agricultural purposes, such as separating the wheat from the chaff. The modern surname can be found as Sievewright, Sivewright, Seivwright and Severwright. The christening of Joseph Sievewright was recorded at St. James's, Garlickhithe, London, on March 23rd 1728. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Simon le Sivewricht (witness), which was dated 1219, in the Yorkshire Assize Court Rolls, 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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