This uncommon name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational surname for a sieve-maker, a "sievier". The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "sife", sieve, in Middle English "sive, seve", with the agent suffix "-(i)er", denoting "one who does or works with". This particular occupation was obviously an important and widespread one, since it has also generated the surname found as Sievewright or Sivewright, from the Olde English "sife", as before, with "wyrhta, wryhta", craftsman. Job-descriptive surnames, such as this one, originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and gradually became hereditary. Early examples of the surname include Peter Syvyere, in the "Inquisitiones Post Mortem" of circa 1320, and Walter le Seuyare, recorded in Hampshire in 1327. There are a great variety of modern surname forms, ranging from Sevier, Sevior and Seviour to Sevyer, Seeviour, Siveyer, Sivyer and Sivier. Among the recordings of the name in Church Registers are those of the marriages of Susan Sivyer and Richard Teasler, on May 9th 1664, at St. James', Clerkenwell, London, and of Jone Sivyer and Robert Vin at the Church of St. Thomas a Becket, Portsmouth, Hampshire, on December 26th 1665. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph le Siviere, which was dated 1279, in the "Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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