This interesting surname is a metonymic from the Old English pre 7th century female personal name "Sigeflaed", which is composed of the elements "Sige" meaning victory plus "flaed" beauty; hence "victory - beauty". Metonymic surnames are much less common than patronymics, with no more than a handful of surviving examples in the majority of European languages. They seem to have derived from the names of women who were either widows for the greater part of their adult lives, or else heiresses in their own right. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 15th Century, (see below). In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including Siffleet, Sifleet, Siflet, etc.. Recordings of the variants of the surname from the London church registers include; Mary Ann, daughter of William and Jane Siffleet, who was christened on June 7th 1812, at St. Mary's, Lambeth; on January 17th 1846, Eliza Ann Sifleet married Frederick Chapell at St. Dunstan's, Stepney; and the marriage of Frances Sifleet and Richard Allright took place on November 28th 1858, at St. Pancras Old Church. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Syfflete, which was dated 1490, in the "Archaeologia Cantiana", during the reign of King Henry V1, known as "Henry Tudor", (The Last Welsh King), 1485 - 1509. 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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