This unusual name with the variant spellings Syde, Sides and Sydes, can be either a locational or topographical surname of Anglo-Saxon origin. As a locational surname, Side or Syde derives from the place in Gloucestershire called 'Syde', recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Side', which is named from the Old English pre 7th Century word 'side', meaning 'slope', thus '(place on) the slope'. As a topographical name, side denotes 'dweller on the slope' derived from the Old English as above. The plural forms of the surname, Sides and Sydes represent the genitive forms, for example 'of Syde', or 'of the slope'. The surname development includes Henry Beside (1290), Michael Aside (1327) and Adam del Syde (1332). On January 15th 1620, one John Sydes married Jane Steavens in St. Benet Paul's Wharf, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Herbert de Side (witness), which was dated 1221, Assize Rolls of Gloucestershire, during the reign of King Henry 111, '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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