This very interesting name is by no means common, the English Civil War of 1641-1660 being too late to increase the number of 'Cavalier' surnames. The name originates from the Latin 'Caballus' meaning 'a horse soldier', through the French 'Chevalier', the latter being a rank of minor nobility. In England the name was first recorded as 'Cavaler' and was probably a direct derivative of the Italian Cavallo. In the Civil War 'Cavalier' and 'Roundhead' were terms of abuse, although by clever promotion, the Royalists accepted it as a badge of gentility. The Coat of Arms is a silver horse on a red field. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Antony Cavaler which was dated 1554 London (Granted Coat of Arms) during the reign of King Edward VI 'The Boy King' 1548-1554 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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