This interesting name is of Old French origin, and derives from the Old French "chievre", Anglo-Norman French "chivere, chevre", she-goat, from the Latin "capra", used either as an occupational name or a nickname. The term was introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066, and the surname from this source is distinguished by being first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. The name may be a metonymic occupational name for a goat-herd, or a nickname for someone considered to be particularly stubborn, or who was possessed of goat-like agility. Many early surnames were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames, often given in the first instance with reference to some supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition. Early examples of the surname, all showing "u" for "v", include: Hamelin Chieure (1186, Lincolnshire), and Nicholas le Chiuer (1327, Sussex). The modern surnames Cheevers, Chevers and Chivers are the patronymic forms. Among the recordings of the name in London is the marriage of Thomas Chivers and Rose Taylor at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, on September 17th 1635. A very early Coat of Arms granted to a Chivers family is a chevron engrailed, red, on a white shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Cheure, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Devonshire, during the reign of William 1, known as "William the Conqueror, 1066 - 1087. 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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