This rare and interesting surname derives from the Old pre 7th Century personal name. "Smeawine" meaning "sagacious friend" personal names incorporating the element "-wine" or friend are often found in Old English as in Godwin and Edwin. As early as 1086, a record exists of the name under the farm of "Smeuuin", in the Domesday Book. By the middle of the 13th Century the surname Smewing begins to emerge in records (see below). One, Matilda Smywyne is recorded in the Sussex Subsidy Rolls (1332). As the name developed it is to be found under the variant forms Smewings, Smewin and Smuin etc.. William Smewen married Elizabeth Smythe at Uxbridge on November 29th 1584 at St. Margaret's, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Martin Smewyne, witness, which was dated 1256. in the "Azzie Rolls of Hampshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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