Recorded in many forms as shown below, this surname originally a personal name, can be of either Anglo-Saxon, German, Scottish or Gaelic Irish. If Anglo-Saxon and German it may originate from the pre 7th century personal name "Eoforwine". This translates literally as "wild boar-friend" and is typical of early names which glorified strength, war, and effective government, probably because for most of the time there was'nt any!. As an example "Eueruinus," in the Latin form, is recorded in the Domesday Book for the county of Norfolk, England, in 1086.The second possible origin is Scottish, and locational from the town of Irvine in Strathclyde, itself a development of "Irafon" meaning fresh water. The third source is Irish from the Gaelic name O' hEireamhoin meaning "the male descendant of Eireamhan", a personal name of uncertain origin. Amongst the early recordings are those of Eustace Everwyn, in the Calendar of Letter Books, for Devonshire in 1310, whilst in the modern idiom, the surname spellings include Ervine, Erwin, Eirwin, Irwine, Irvine, Irwing, Orwin, Urwin, and others. Examples in the surviving church registers include Thomas Orwyn at St. Margarets church, Westminster in 1555, whilst in 1680, Adam Irwin, was christened at St. Dunstan's, Stepney and John Erwin and Ellinor Harding were married at St. James church, Dukes Place, also city of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Hierwyn. This was dated 1226, at Dumfriesshire, in Scotland. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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