This name SABINA was originally rendered in the Latin form of SABINA, and meant a member of the Sabine tribe, an ancient Italic people of central Italy whose name is of uncertain origin. The masculine form of the name SABIN was borne by at least ten early saints, but the feminine form SABINE was more common in England in the Middle Ages. The name has numerous variant spellings and the name is worldwide in its variants. The origins of Italian surnames are not clear, and much work remains to be done on medieval Italian records. It seems that fixed bynames, in some cases hereditary, were in use in the Venetian Republic by the end of the 10th century. The typical Italian surname endings are 'i' and 'o', the former being characteristic of northern Italy. The singular form 'o' is more typical of southern Italy. Early records of the name in England mention Saelferne (without surname) 757, County Bedfordshire. The name was documented in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Saverne (without surname). Gaimar Seuerne, 1205, was documented in the North Riding of Yorkshire. Following the crusades in Europe in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth, or in addition to it. This was recognized by those of noble birth, and particularly by those who went on the Crusades, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function of the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour.
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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