This name, with variant spellings Sire, Sier, Sirr and Surr, derives from the Olde French 'sire' meaning master or lord, and was originally given either as an official title to the head of a household or as a nickname to one who behaved in a lordly manner. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 12th Century, (see below). Matheus le Sire appears in the 1201 'Pipe Rolls of Nottinghamshire' and Ralph le Seyr in the 1296 'Subsidy Rolls of Sussex'. The spelling Surr is recorded in the 1327 'Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire'. On December 9th 1550 Agnes Syer and Robard Marchall were married in St. Andrew's, Enfield, London and on November 3rd 1596 Margaret, daughter of Vallantyne Syer, was christened in St. Bride, Fleet Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey Sire, which was dated 1177 - 'The Pipe Rolls of Norfolk', during the reign of King Henry II, The Builder of Churches, 1154 - 1189. 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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