This unusual and interesting English name has two possible origins. The first is a short form of the male given name "Aveline", itself a rare surname. This is also recorded as the modern "Evelyn", and transales as "the hazel nut". It may seem strange that a name could have such a meaning, but the hazel nut formed an important part of medieval winter diet, and it therefore possible that the name was job descriptive for a grower of hazel nuts. The second possible derivation is from the rare medieval female given name "Eve" or "Eva", itself is a derivative of the Hebrew "Chara", meaning "Serpent". According to the Book of Genesis, Eve was the name of the first woman and in some cases, the name would have been granted to one (probably a man) who played the part in a drama dealing with "Creation". The name was introduced by the Normans after the 1066 Invasion and gained popularity from the Crusades. It may also have been given to one born on St. Agnes Eve (21st January). An early church register recording in London is that of Elizabeth Eve who married Richard Parsons on 16th April 1634, at the church of St. Martin Pomeroy. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gregory Eve, which was dated 1279, in the Hundred Rolls of the county of Cambridge, during the reign of King Edward I, 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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