this rare and interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a metonymic occupational name for someone who made saws. The derivation of the name is from the Middle English "saghe, sawe", saw, and would be any of various hand tools for cutting wood, metal, etc., having a blade with teeth along one edge. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. Occasionally, the surname may have been given to someone who earned his living from sawing wood, but this was usually given the agent suffix "-er", a person or thing that performs a specified action, and would have been called Sawyer. Humfrey le Sawyere is noted in the 1270 Assize Rolls of Somerset, and Richard le Sawier is listed in the 1278 Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Sawe, Saw, Sahw and Saywe. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the christening of Barbara, daughter of John Saw, on March 1st 1582, at St. Gabriel Fenchurch; the christening of Richard, son of Thomas Sawe, on July 14th 1611, at St. Katherine by the Tower; and the christening of Simon, son of Andrew and Margerrett Saywe, at St. Botolph Bishopsgate, on August 6th 1637. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Georgius Sawe, which was dated March 13th 1568, christened at St. Peter's, Sheffield, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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.