This interesting surname of English origin with variant spellings Sainsbury, Saintsbury, Sainsberry, Sinisbury, etc., is a locational name from Saintbury in Gloucestershire, deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century male personal name Soewine, composed of the elements "soe" meaning "sea" plus "wine" "friend" plus "burh" meaning "fort or town". The placename is recorded as Seynesbury in the 12th Century. The surname dates back to the late 12th Century, (see below). Church recordings include one Elizabeth, daughter of Erasmus Sansbery who was christened on December 25th 1588 at St. Benet Fink, London, Christoper, son of John Sansberrie, was christened at St. Margaret's, Westminster, on August 28th 1608 and Mary Sansbury married John South on January 1561 at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London. One John Sansbury (1576-1610) of Merchant Taylors School and St. John's College, Oxford, received an M.A. in 1601, B.D. in 1608. He was vicar of St. Giles, Oxford, 1607, and he published latin verse. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reginald de Seinesberia, which was dated 1190, the Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire", during the reign of King Richard 1, "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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.