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About the study

This web page contains a brief description of my one-name study for the surname of 'SAVIN' and the spelling variants of this name (see below). Since 1986 I have researched and collected all the references to this family name, both present day and historical, which I have been able to discover on a world wide basis written in Western script. I have endeavoured to trace back using normal genealogical methods, as well as pioneering the use of DNA, each Savin lineage. The international migration of the surname over the centuries is also a feature of this particular study.

As well as instances of the surname itself I have also recorded and investigated the name when it appears in other contexts for example as a place, geographical feature, company, organism etc. as often they were named after a bearer of the name.

*Further information can be found at the SAVIN Family Histories blog- see the link at the end of this page*

Variant names

This particular surname has succumbed to less spelling variation than the average name. These differences are defined by identifying historical instances where an individual has had their name modified from the usual spelling to an alternate form as evidenced by one record compared to a later one. Therefore the variations in my study covering English speaking nations in order of decreasing frequency, excluding very rare and unique examples, include:

Savins, Saving, Savings, Saven, Savens, Savyn and Savvin

However in respect of non English speaking nations only the main name of Savin is researched due to the lack of interpreting a variation as described above.

Name origin

Despite the uncommon frequency of the surname worldwide the Savin lineages have many origins. The name itself was originally based upon a christian name which is now almost extinct and thereby it had separate origins in several european countries (e.g. England, France, Russia, Croatia, Romania) and individual founding lines within these countries. In Russia the surname is also sometimes from the village name of Sava (Gorki).

Some Savin lines had later origins for example from the mother's family name (3), wife's maiden name (1), to anglicise a similar name (3), picked at random to hide an origin (1), taken from the surname of their slave owner (1+), adoption (1).

The christian name itself is a spelling variation of the name Sabin(e) which can be traced back to the early Romans who adopted it from the Sabine tribe, which fought against them, as they admired their many qualities. The Sabines derived their name from Sabus son of Sancus their god.

Historical occurrences of the name

Whilst researching the name I have uncovered many interesting Savins of note with eventful lives, together with the first persons with the surname to colonize a new country and the earliest recorded instances from a home land nation. A *limited* selection of these I have listed below, in chronological order, with very brief descriptions.

*Vitaly Savin* (1966- ) Russian sprinter who won an Olympic gold medal in the 4X 100M at Seoul in 1988

*Richard Savin* (1940- ) Journalist, gold prospector & rally driver born Surrey, England. Led a series of expeditions to the Middle East, N. Africa & Australia. Imprisioned in 1976 on a trumped-up charge in Iran for 2 1/2 years, wrote a book about this experience.

*Pedro Savin* (?- 1940) Born in Cuba, migrated from Havana in 1926 to Jamaica. An expert tonsorial and Jamaican national chess champion in 1931.

*Andrew Savin* (1923 -) Born in Transylvannia, Romania. Arrested in 1941 and survived several concentration camps including Auschwitz being liberated in 1945. Escaped from communist Romania in 1968 and eventually immigrated to Canada in 1970.

*Raymond Frank Savin* (1921- ) Born in England, believed to be the first Savin to settle in Africa, when he returned to South Africa in 1946 after serving in the army in India & Burma

*Moses Savin* (1901-1993) Republican U.S. State Senator and 3 times mayor of New London, Connecticut. Founded the Savin Express Co.

*John Savin* (a.1870) Emmigrated from the USA to a remote part of Brazil with his family, but promised land & employment was not forthcoming. After much privation they returned back to New York two years later

*Dr. Lewis Savin* (1864-1918) Christian missionary in Yunnan, a remote province of west China from 1892 until his death. Built a hospital in Zhaotong and survived the Boxer rebellion.

*Alfred Collison Savin* (1860-1948) Geologist & antiquarian whose fossil collections are now at the Natural History Museum, London. He discovered a new species of extinct bear which he named Savin's Bear.

*John Savin* (c.1851-?) A bootmaker from Berkshire, England who is the first known Savin to land in New Zealand when he arrived at Wellington on 11 July 1874 aboard the Waikato.

*Frank Savin* (1850-1931) New York Stock Exchange broker. After being cut off by his father with just $1 he was reputed to have been worth $10M at one time. Reported in the New York Times on several occasions for settling disputes with his fellow brokers by the use of his fists.

*Thomas Savin* (1826-1889) Contractor who built several railways mostly in Wales. Elected mayor of Oswestry, Shropshire in 1863. Had a net worth of over ?1M (?50M in today values) before over extending himself and was declared bankrupt in 1866.

*Patrick Savin* (a. 1841) Earliest recorded Savin to arrive in Australia aboard the ship 'Instrinsic' from county Galway Ireland in October 1841

*Adolpho Savin* (1815 - ?) Born in Marseilles, France and emmigrated to Mexico. A merchant who was instrumental in financing the infrastructure (utilities, prominent buildings, tourism) of the present day Baja California/San Diego region. Said to have owned half of Tijuana, Mexico.

*Nicolai Savin* (1768-a.1894) Reported in several papers of 19th century as a veteran of Napleons first army who celebrated his 126th birthday in Kiev, Russia in 1894. (claimed age doubtful)

*Francois Savin* (a.1666) Earliest recorded Savin in Canada

*Robert Savin* (a.1629) Earliest recorded Savin in America living in Virginia, only 9 years after the Mayflower had landed.

*Avery Sa(b/v)in* (c.1580-1648) A woollen draper by trade who became mayor of Canterbury 3 times.

*William Sabin(e)/Savyn* (?-1543) A Royal Navy captain. In 1518 appointed one of Henry VIII's serjeant-at-arms & given by him the land of Black Friars Monastry, Ipswich. Elected M.P. for Ipswich in 1539.

*Robert Savyn* (a.1371) Mariner of Wistow. Freeman of the City of York, England

*Savinus* (?-870) Killed by invading Danes at the Benedictine Abbey of Croyland, England.

*St.Savin* (5th century?) Born in Barcelona, Spain sent to Poitiers, France to finish education. but left to become a hermit near Tarbes. (this account is more legend than fact)

Distribution of the name

The Savin surname is found world-wide and below I give its present day distribution by country, together with the number of households (*or persons) with the name, along with regions within the country if a particular concentration is noted.

Argentina 14 (Buenos Aires)
Australia 53 (New South Wales, Victoria)
Austria 4
Belarus 208 (Minsk)
Belgium 1
Brazil 8 (San Paulo)
Canada 104 (Ontario)
Croatia 50 (Dubrovnik, Zagreb)
Cuba 2
Cyprus 1
Denmark 5
Eire 3
Finland 49*
France 1182 (Ille et Vilaine, Isere, Saone et Loire, Vienne, Deux Seures, Charante)
Germany 21
Hungary 1
Israel 2
Italy 67 (Aosta)
Latvia 56 (Riga)
Jamacia 1
Mexico 63 (Baja California, Baja California Sur)
Moldova 1558 (Chişinău)
Netherlands 1
New Zealand 14 (Christchurch)
Norway 6
Portugal 1
Romania 1476 (Neamt, Bacau, Lasi, Galati, Bucuresti)
Russia 37328 (Moskovskaya oblast)
Serbia 171 (Novi Sad )
Slovenia 2
Slovakia 1
South Africa 10
Spain 4
Sweden 4
Switzerland 7
Ukraine 349 (Crimea)
United Kingdom 511 (West Midlands, Oxfordshire, Kent)
United States 564 (California, New York)