This surname of SEFFRING was originally from the French and Dutch given name SEVERINUS, which was adopted by Orthodox priests, the name meaning harsh and severe. The name was also borne by several early Christian saints including bishops of Treves (2nd century), Cologne (4th century) Bordeaux (5th century) and Santempeda (6th century). The name was also taken by hermits of Paris in the 6th century, and Tivoli in the 8th century, as well as a 5th century apostle of Austria.
Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards. An English family of this name originated in Denmark. They trace their descent from Soren of Silkeborg (c.1815-75) whose son Jens Sorenson (1840-1919) moved to England, where he became a blacksmith in Islington, London.
Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
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