Recorded in several spellings including Aves, Avis, Aviss, Aveson, Avieson, and Avison, this is an English surname. It derives from the personal name "Avis", a pre 7th century old Germanic name, introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. The first known form of the name was "Haduwig" (whence modern German "Hedwig"), meaning "refuge in war"; the French form was softened to "Edwige", and in the Norman dialect it became "Havoise". By degrees this was shortened to Havoisia, Avicia, Avice, and finally Avis.In its variant forms it is frequently found in medieval records, but nowadays only the forms Avis and, less commonly Avice are found. "Auicia" (without surname) is noted in the Register of St. Benet of Holme, Norfolk (1175), and Thomas Avyce in the Book of Fees for the county of Berkshire in 1220. Later examples of the recordings taken from surving registers, rolls, and charters include Thomas Avis who was noted in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of Suffolk in 1524, whilst Margery Avison was buried at St Peters Cornhill, in the city of London in the year 1601. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Walter Auices. This was dated 1186, in the register of the abbey of St. Benet Holme, in the county of Norfolk, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154 - 1189. 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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