This interesting surname, with variant spelling Aviyard, is of English locational origin from some minor place, believed to be in Yorkshire where the surname is chiefly found. The name derives from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name "Afa" plus "geard" an enclosure; hence "Afa's enclosure". The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 16th Century, (see below). Other recordings of the surname from church registers include: Robert Aveyard, who married Anne Arandell, on June 18th 1592, at Mirfield, Yorkshire; on August 27th 1621, Nycholas Aveyard married Mary Bothe, at Dewsbury. Yorkshire; Ann, daughter of Richard Aveyard, was christened on January 1st 1624, at Thornhill by Dewsbury; Nicholas Aveyard married Debora Westerman on November 29th 1641, at Rothwell; Diana, daughter of Edwardi and Annae Aveyard, was christened on August 4th 1642, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Aveyeard, witness at Christening, which was dated September 29th 1587, Mirfield, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "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.
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