This interesting surname is English. It has two possible origins. The first being a dialectually transposed locational name from a place called Twiss or Twiss Green in the county of Lancashire. Locational surnames were usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes to move somewhere else. An example being that of Thomas Twist, who is recorded in the Marriage Licence register of St. George's Church, Hanover Square, Westminster, in the year 1787. Secondly Twist may be a metonymic occupational name for someone involved with cotton-spinning, whose job was to combine threads into a strong cord. To "Twist" in this sense of the word is recorded from the 16th century. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Twiss of Kenion.in Cheshire. This was dated 1619, in the Wills Records held at the city of Chester, during the reign of King James Ist of England, and VI of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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