This unusual name is of Norman, French Origin, although it is now found mainly in Scotland, in Aberdeenshire. The surname derives from the Anglo-Norman French "Chivre, Chevre", goat, from the Latin "capra", she-goat, and may be either a metonymic occupational name for a goatherd, or a nickname surname for someone thought to be particularly agile, or perhaps particularly stubborn. The surname appears first in England, (see below), and can be found in the modern forms of Cheever(s), Chevers, and Chivers. In Scotland the surname is first recorded in 1393, when one John Sheves is mentioned as a "scholar in Scotland" granted a safe conduct to study in Oxford. The Scottish forms of the name are Shivas, Shives, Cheves and Chivas. Jannet Cheves was christened on September 9th 1677, at Peterhead, Aberdeen, and one Alexander Cheves married Susanna Craig on March 22nd 1785, at Old Meldrum, Aberdeenshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Chevre, which was dated 1086, in the "Domesday Book", Devonshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "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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