This interesting name, with the variants Cleever and Clover, has two possible origins. The first being an official title for a mace-bearer. The clavia, mace, or staff was an ensign of authority borne before magistrates. All the early recordings of this name occur in Norfolk. In 1332 one, Walter le Claver was rector of All Saints, Norwich. Later the name was taken to mean "the cleaver" i.e., an occupational name for a carpenter or timber-worker who split boards and planks with wedges instead of sawing them.In this case the origin of the name is the Old English pre 7th Century verb "cleofan", to split or cut. One, John son Samuell cleaver was baptised in St. James' Church, Clerkenwell, London in 1652. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Simon le Claver, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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