This unusual and interesting name is of early Medieval English/French origin, and is a metonymic occupational surname for a maker and seller of swords. The name derives from the Middle English word "gleyre, gleve", sword, lance, from the Old French "glaire, gleive". Occasionally the modern surname may derive from a medieval "nickname surname", from the same source, for an accomplished swordsman, or perhaps for a winner in a race in which the lance set up as a winning-post was given as a prize. The surname development includes William Gleive (1227, Bedfordshire) and William Glevel (1283, Suffolk). The modern surname can be found as Gleave, Glave and the patronymic forms Gleaves and Glares, indicating "son of Gl(e)ave". One, Roade Gleaves, daughter of Robert and Aile Gleaves, was christened on November 24th 1633, at St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Glaive, which was dated 1202, The Norfolk Fines Court Rolls, 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017