There are two possible origins for this interesting name although both have similar backgrounds. The first is as a dialectual corruption of the Olde English 'snaew' - meaning one with white hair, plus 'kin' meaning 'son of' the present spelling being one of the typical Kent-Sussex variants. The second is Scottish (although again the origin is almost certainly the Olde English pre 7th century 'snaew') 'snawie' meaning 'son of Snow' - first recorded in the later sixteenth century when one William Snawey was elected a burgess of Aberdeen The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Snewlin (as spelt) which was dated C.1677 Christ Church, Barbadoes during the reign of King Charles 11 the Merry Monarch 1660-1685 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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