This interesting and unusual name is of early Medieval English origin, and is a metronymic surname derived from the rare medieval female given name "Eve", the name of the first bearer's mother. Metronymic are very uncommon as a group of surnames, since most of European society was patriarchal and hereditary names descended through the father. The name "Eve" derives from the Hebrew "Chava", originally meaning "serpent", or perhaps akin to the verb "chaya", to live, and was the name of the first woman, according to the Book of Genesis. In some few cases, the modern surname may derive from a nickname acquired by a man playing the part of Eve in a Medieval pageant depicting the creation. The Latin form of the personal name, Eva is recorded in London in 1206. The marriage of Frances Evison and Edward Smedly was recorded at St. James's, Duke's Place, London, on May 20th 1684. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Evessone, which was dated circa 1200, Chartulary of the Monastery of Ramsey, Cambridgeshire, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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