This most interesting and unusual name, now rare, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational name for someone who made slays, instruments used in weaving to push the weft thread that has just been laid tightly against the thread of the preceding pass of the shuttle. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "slege", (from "slean" to strike), Middle English "slaye", slay, with "macian", the Olde English word for "make". Job descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. One source states that 'a petition to parliament in 1467 from the worsted manufacturers complains that in the county of Norfolk there are "divers persones that make untrue ware of all manner of worstedes, not being of the assises in length or brede .... and that the 'slayes' and yern thereto belonging are untruly made and wrought"'. Henry Slaymaker or Slymaker was recorded in the Register of Oxford University in 1594, while Anne Sleemaker was christened at St. Giles Cripplegate, London on March 24th 1608. Thomas, son of Thomas and Margreat Slamaker was christened at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, London on August 3rd 1669.. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Slaymaker, which was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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