This unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, and derives from the female given names Genever or Jen(n)ifer, Cornish forms of the medieval Welsh "Guenever" or "Guinevere", from the Old Welsh "Gwenhwyfar", a compound of the elements "gwen", fair, white, and "(g)wyf", smooth, yielding. The name in its original form was borne by the wife of King Arthur in the legends, and in Anglo-Norman it became "Guenievre". Gwenhevare occurs as a personal name in Shropshire in 1431, and is still used throughout England, though usually disguised under the forms Gonore, Ganor, Gaynor, Ginevra and Wannour, with Vanora being popular in Scotland. The surname deriving directly from the Cornish "Jenifer" first appears on record prior to the 14th Century (see below), and in 1332, one Henry Juneuyr was noted in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex. The forms Ennever, Enver, Enefer, Enniver, Inevere and Innover, recorded in English Church Registers from the late 16th Century, result from the dialectal loss of the initial letter from Genever and Jen(n)ifer. On May 9th 1595, Elsabeth Enever, an infant, was christened at Shorne, Kent, and on June 21st 1623, Jacob Enever and Bettrice Pearson were married at St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, London. The marriage of William Enever to Mary Percifull took place at St. John the Baptist, Croydon, Surrey, on April 21st 1843. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mabilla Jenever, which was dated 1296, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", 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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