This surname is of medieval German origin, and is also recorded as Klauer, Kleuer or Clever. It has nothing to do with axes or knives, but derives from the place called Kleve, once the home of the fourth wife of King Henry V111 of England (1509 - 1547) "Anne of Kleve". The name of the town means "the place on the marshlands", the surname in effect describing one who is resident in Cleve, whilst the prefix "Von" would indicate one who was from the town, as in Arnoldi Von Cleve, of Havert, Rheinland (1732), and the very early example below. The name recordings include the following examples: Peter Klewer, who married Charlotta Maria Muellerin at Stettin Stadt, Province of Pommern, on September 11th 1780, whilst earlier, on July 1st 1600, Anna Klewer was christened at Schwarzwaldekreis, Reutlingen, Wuertt. The name was early into America, often being Anglicized as Clower (1734, Philadelphia), one Michael Klewer was christened at St. John's Lutheran Church, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, on September 28th 1797. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johann Von Kleve, which was dated 1325, marriage to Cathariann Van Voorne, at Kleve, Rheinland, Germany, during the reign of Louis 1V of Bavaria, known as "The Holy Roman Emperor", 1314 - 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.1347.
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