Recorded in the known spellings of Sing, Singar, Singer and the patronymics Sings and Singers, this is a famous surname. It is of English medieval origins, and as such was occupational. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th century word 'singan', meaning to sing, and as such the surname originally described a professional singer, one who perhaps toured with the famous travelling theatres of the Middle Ages. The occupation of 'singer' originally denoted a male singer only, a female singer was called a Sangster, a later popular surname in its own right. The surname is now recorded world wide and is particularly famous because of its association with the Singer Sowing machine, patented originally in the USA. It is not therefore entirely surprising that one of the first emigrants to the New England colony of Virginia was one Thomas Singer, aged eighteen. He sailed on the merchantman "Bonaventure" which left the port of London, England, on January 2nd 1634, having "taken ye oath of allegeance to his majesty King Charles 1st". The first recording of the surname is probably that of Lucas le Singere in the Subsidy Tax rolls of the county of Sussex in the year 1296, whilst William le Syngur appears in the similar rolls, but for Yorkshire, in 1297. Later examples taken from the diocese registers of Greater London are those of John Synger who married Joane Burton at St Dionis Backchurch, in 1583, and John Singer who married Mary Reilly at St Georges chapel, Hanover Square, in 1768.
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