This interesting and ancient surname is one of three variants of Gulliver, which is of Old French origin, and is a nickname which was given to a particularly covetous or acquisitive person. The derivation is from the Old French "goulafre", glutton. The other variants of this surname are Gulliford and Galliford. Nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of occupations or to personal characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, or to habits of dress. The surname was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 (see below), while other early examples include: Philip Golafre, in the Red Book of the Exchequer (1166, Suffolk); Richard Gulavere, of Northampton, in the Book of Fees, circa 1220; John Golaffre, in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire, 1273; and Henry Gulafre in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk, 1273. One Richard, son of Thomas and Susanna Galliver, was christened on August 22nd 1802, at Bethnal Green, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Gulafra, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Suffolk, during the reign of King William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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