England known as Cornwall. Although surnames were fairly widespread in medieval England, people were originally known only by a single name. The process by which hereditary surnames were adopted is extremely interesting. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Lords and their tenants often became known by the name of the feudal territory they owned or lived on. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. This was due to the heavy political and cultural influence of the English upon the Cornish People at the time that surnames first came into use. Local surnames were derived from where a person lived, held land, or was born. While many Cornish surnames of this sort appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames derived from lost or unrecorded place names. The name Sainthill is a local type of surname and the Sainthill family lived in Devon. While the Sainthill name would seem to be derived from the name of a saint, some scholars suggest that it is actually a corruption of the place-name Sweynthull.
Early Origins of the Sainthill family
Devon where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Sweynthull. Unlike many St. names which usually originated from Normandy this surname is a corruption of an ancient place name and the family name is derived, some say before the Norman Conquest in 1066.
Early History of the Sainthill family
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Sainthill Spelling Variations
spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled StHill, Sainthill and others.
Early Notables of the Sainthill family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Sainthill family to Ireland
Some of the Sainthill family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 167 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Sainthill family to the New World and Oceana
An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Sainthill:
Sainthill Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Contemporary Notables of the name Sainthill (post 1700)
Sainthill Family Crest Products