Found in English as Saint, the Spanish version of Sancto or Santos has exactly the same meaning and Latin origin of 'Sanctus'. The name is a nickname surname for either an extremely pious person or the more likely origin is a baptism name for a child born on a 'Holyday' ie. Christmas, Easter or in this case November 1st, All Saints Day. There are over fifty variants including the patronymic 'son of Sanctus' found in such spellings as Santello, Sainteau and Santino etc. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sancho de Melgar. which was dated Circa 1580, at Murcia, Spain. during the reign of King Philip 11 of Spain 1528 - 1598. 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.