This interesting surname is a medieval metonymic job descriptive nickname for a Stone Mason or Quarrier, although it can also be locational from one who resided by a Quarry. It derives from the Anglo-Saxon pre 8th Century "Gedelf" meaning a ditch, excavation or pit, the name also appearing in the village of Delph in the (formerly) West Riding of Yorkshire or Kings Delph in Huntingdon. The name development includes John Delves of Staffordshire in 1376, whilst John de Delves is recorded in Cheshire in 1390. The much rare singular spelling is recorded at Cundall Church, Yorkshire when on November 30th 1693, Joseph Delve married Jane Ellsworthy. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de la Delphe, which was dated 1295, The County Pipe Rolls of Sussex, during the reign of King Edward I, 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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