This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational name for a tender of cattle, deriving from the Middle English "calfhirde", a development of the Olde English pre 7th Century "calf" meaning calf, plus "hierde", herdsman. Job descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The surname is now most widespread in North and North East England and in Northern Ireland. The surname dates back to the mid 13th Century (see below), and early recordings include: William Calvehird (1297) in the Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire, and John Calverde of York (1309), in the Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London. Variations in the spelling of the surname include Calverd and Calvard. London Church Records list the marriage of Edward Calverd to Margaret Drake on May 10th 1590, and of George Calvert to Anne Mynne on November 22nd 1604 at St. Peter's, Cornhill. A Coat of Arms granted to a Calvert family is black, on an inescutcheon within an orle of silver owls, three black guttes. The Crest is a silver owl black guttee. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Warin le Calfhirde, which was dated 1269, in the "Feet of Fines of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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