This interesting name is of Norman origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066 as a "status name", signifying a young man of good birth attendant on a knight, his shield-bearer. The derivation is from the Old French "escuyer" or "escuier", in Middle English "squyer", both ultimately from the Latin "scutanius", a derivative of "scutum", shield. By the 14th Century the term "squire" meant not only any young attendant or servant but had been generalised into referring to social status rather than age, and by the 17th Century the term denoted any member of the landed gentry. Variants of the surname include "Squier", "Swire" and "Swyer", while the patronymic forms, "son of Squire", include "Squires", "Squeers", "Swires", and "Swiers". One Elizabeth Squires married John Gibbs on the June 1st 1684 at St. James's Church, Dukes Place, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alword le Scuir, which was dated 1100 - 1130, in the "Old English Bynames" (Devonshire), during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 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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