This interesting surname with variant spellings Syne, Sine, Sign, Signe, Siene, etc. is a dialectal variant of the locational name Signet in Oxfordshire, deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century "senget" meaning "a place cleared by burning". The placename is recorded as Senech in "The Assize Rolls of 1285", Seynat, Saynet "Inquisitions post mortem of 1289". The surname dates back to the late 16th Century, (see below). Church records include one Robert Sine who married Alice Butcher on November 24th 1579, at St. Martins Chichester, Sussex. Edward, son of Edward Signe, was christened on July 20th 1621, at St. Margaret's Westminster, and Susanna Siene, a French Huguenot, was christened on December 17th 1626, at Threadneedle Street, London. Mary, daughter of Richard Signe, was christened on February 19th 1630, in Rogate, Sussex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Annes Syne married Phillipp London, which was dated 1575, at St. Giles, Cripplegte, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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