Recorded in several forms including Glavis, Glewiss, Glaves, Gluvias, Gluyas, Gluyus, and possibly Gloves, this unusual surname is English, or at least it has been in some spellings since the Middle Ages. It is almost certainly a development of the Old French word 'gleyve' meaning a lance or spear, and as such was probably introduced by the Normans after the Invasion of 1066. The name may describe a 'lancer', a horse soldier who carried a lance, but it may equally have been a prize awarded to a sportsman. A lance would be set up to denote the end of a race, and was also the prize to the winner. The modern 'winning post' originated from this more simple method. Although we have no absolutely conclusive proof, we feel from the available known recordings, that the some descendants of the modern name holders may have been Huguenot Protestants fleeing from catholic repression, particularly in France, and from the 15th century. Some 50,000 of these people came to England, and over the centuries their name was in most cases, anglicised to 'sounds like' spellings. Examples of the surname developments include: William Glieve of Bedfordshire in the court rolls for the year 1227, and William Gleve of Suffolk in 1283. Later examples taken from surviving church registers include Jane Glaves, christened at St Katherines by the Tower (of London), on February 9th 1662, and Richard Gluvias, christened at St Sepulchre, in the city of London, on June 20th 1708. John Gluyas and his wife Susan had seven children christened at St Marks church, Kennington, London, between February 2nd 1845 and April 23rd 1865.
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