Recorded as Eva, Eve, Eaver, Ever, patronymics Evers, Evason, Eeveson, and Everson, and possibly others, this is an early Medieval English surname. It derives from the rare female personal name Eve or Eva, from the Hebrew name 'Chava'. This is thought to mean either life or serpent. According to the Book of Genesis, Eve was the name of the first woman, and the modern surname may in some cases be derived from someone who had played the part of Eve in a medieval mystery play or pageant depicting the Creation. The part would always have been played by a man, so the surname in this instance would descend through the male line, as distinct from the direct descent through the female line as a metronymic from the given name. Examples of recordings include John Eva christened at St Brides Fleet Street, in the city of London in November 1600, Edward Everson at Eversham in Glouestershire, in 1639, Edward Ever, at St Botolphs Bishopgate, London, on February 19th 1759. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gregory Eve. This was dated 1279, in the Cambridgeshire Hundred Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 1st, and known as The Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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