Sails

Sails - what does Sails surname mean?

This interesting surname is of English locational origin from Sale in Cheshire, recorded as `Sale` in the 1260 Court Rolls. The placename derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century `salh`, Middle English `sale`, meaning a sallow tree (willow tree). During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. The surname may also be of topographical origin for a `dweller by the sallow tree`. The surname first appears in the mid 13th Century (see below). One, Nicholas ate Sale is noted in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex (1296) and Alanus Sayle appears in the 1379 Poll Tax Return of Yorkshire. On October 23rd 1573, Francis Sayle married William Emanson at the Church of St. Giles Cripplegate, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the Sayle family depicts three gold griffins heads erased on a black engrailed cotised fess, between three black wolves heads erased, all on a silver shield. On the crest there are three gold escallops in front of a black wolf`s head couped, gorged with a gold collar gemel. The motto reads `who most has served is greatest`. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de la Sale which was dated 1243, in the `Assize Rolls of Somerset`, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as `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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