This interesting surname is one of the patronymic forms of Evan, i.e. "son of Evan". Van, being one of the Welsh forms of John, dates from about 1500. The name John has enjoyed enormous popularity in Europe throughout the Christian era, often given in honour of St. John the Baptist, or the nearly one thousand saints of the name. The ultimate derivation is from the Hebrew name "Yochanan" meaning "the Lord is gracious" or "may Jehorah favour this child". The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 16th Century, (see below). In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including Evenson, Evans, Evens, Evance, Ivings, Ifans, etc.. Recordings of the surname from the London church registers include; the marriage of John Evanson and Elizabeth Marbanck which took place on October 26th 1578, at St. Giles Cripplegate; on April 25th 1581, Issabell Evanson married Richard land at St. Lawrence Jewry and St. Mary Magdalene Milk Street, and Edward, son of John Evanson, was christened on August 24th 1589, at St. James Clerkenwell. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Water Evans, witness at a christening, which was dated June 14th 1536, St. James Garlickhithe, London, during the reign of King Henry V11, "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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