The Old French "sire" meaning "Master", is the probable origin of this unusual patronymic name. Introduced by the Normans after 1066, the surname is usually a nickname for one who played the part of a "Lord" in the popular travelling theatres and pageants of the 11th - 15th Centuries. However it is also possible that the name like "Shurrey", is a local dialectal form of "Surrey", the county name, as the preponderance of early recordings are in the London area. These recordings include John Syree, a witness at the Church of St. Lukes, Chelsea, on August 16th 1685, whilst William Sirree married Judith Bland at St. Pauls Church, Convent Garden on January 10th 1738. The earliest point of origin was probably Geoffrey Sire, recorded at Norwich in the 1177 Pipe Rolls. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of James Sirrey, which was dated October 25th 1652, married Margaret Walter at All Hallows Church, London Wall, during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, "The Great Protector", 1649 - 1658. 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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