This interesting surname derives from the personal name Geva, itself a pet form of the medieval female given name Genevieve, which comes via the French from two Germanic words "geno" meaning "race", and "wefa", woman. It oldest known forms are Genovefa and Genoveva. The name was very popular in France, largely as a result of the veneration of the 5th Century saint, Genevieve, later patroness of Paris, whose prayers saved the city from destruction by the Huns in the year 451. The name Geua (note "u" for "v") appears without surname in Lincolnshire county records dated 1120 - 1130, and a William filius (son of) Geve was recorded in the 1273 "Hundred Rolls of Yorkshire". This form was introduced into England by the Normans following the Conquest of 1066. It has also been suggested that Geeve, with variants Gebb(e), Geffe, Gibke etc., finds its roots in the old Germanic personal name Gebhard a compound of "gib", gift and "hard", hardy or strong. On December 10th 1592 Elizabeth Geeve and Henry Stanley were married in St. Giles Cripplegate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Geue, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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