This most interesting surname is probably of Old French origin, and is a diminutive form of Cave, which has two separate interpretations. Firstly, it is likely to be a metonymic occupational name for someone employed in or in charge of the wine cellars of a great house; or, secondly, a topographical name given to a dweller by or in a cave, both deriving from the Old French "cave", meaning cave or cellar. In France, other surnames from this source include Cavy, Cavet, Cave and Caveau. The name is also found in the south-eastern counties of England as Cavey, Cavy and Cavee. However, in some instances the name may be a variant of Cavey, or Keavy, one of the Anglicized forms of the Gaelic "Mac Daibheid", composed of the Gaelic prefix "Mac", son of, and "Daidheid", David (commander, beloved). Early recordings include: the christening of Richard, son of John Cavey, on June 18th 1598, at Angmering, Sussex; the marriage of Ann Cavie and Ric Farrant at Tonbridge, Kent, on November 17th 1606; the christening of Joannes Philipine, son of Philippe and Marie Cave, on October 30th 1678, at Praye, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France; and the christening of Charles, son of Pierre and Judith Cavie, on February 18th 1780, at St. Martin de Vertou, Ambillou-Chateau, Maine et Loire, France. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Cavie, which was dated June 1st 1562, marriage to Christopher Smith, at Lurgashall, Sussex, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "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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