Double-barrelled names such as this are usually the result of a marriage between the two families, where the eventual name has no actual meaning as a unit although the two parts have their separate meaning and derivation. In this case the surname "Swyer" (a variant of Squire) is of Norman origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1086, as a "status name" signifying a young man of good birth, or an attendant on a knight, his shield-bearer. The derivation is from the Old French "esquier" meaning a shield-bearer. By the 14th Century the meaning of the term "squire" had been generalised into referring to social status rather than age and by the 17th Century the term denoted amy member of the landed gentry. One, Geoffrey le Swyer, appears in the Hundred Rolls of Nottinghamshire (1275). The name "Sexey" is of English locational origin from Sessay in the North Riding of Yorkshire. The place name is recorded as "Sezai" in the Domesday Book of 1086 and as "Secey" in the 1182 Pipe Rolls of the county. The component elements are the Old English pre 7th Century "secg" meaning sedge plus "eg" island; hence "sedge island". On December 25th 1799, Joseph Sexey married Jane Goddard, at St. Luke Old St., Finsbury, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alword le Scuir, which was dated 1100 - 1130, Old English Byname Register, Devonshire, during the reign of King Henry 1, "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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