This apparently innocent name has a very complicated origin. Although found in Kent since the 16th Century it is in fact, Irish and derives from the Clan O'Geibheannaigh, which has been "anglicized" in Connaught to Keaveney, Keveney, Kevany, Geaveny and in Kilkenny to Coveney and Caveney. The origin is ancient, the Clan being traceable back to 971 in Galway, still the principle homeland. There is also a "Mac" variant of the name now MacCoveney, and this branch of the Clan is first recorded in Co.Fermanagh in 1308. Irish names are not generally found in England before 1830, but this is significantly earlier, although the reason is not known. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joan Caveney. which was dated 1634, married Edward Goldsmith at Canterbury. during the reign of King Charles I, the Martyr, 1625 - 1649. 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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