This interesting surname, is a dialectal variant of "Glanville", which itself derives from a number of possible origins. It may be of Norman locational origin from a place in Calvados in France, which gets its name from a Germanic personal of uncertain origin and the Old French word "ville", meaning "settlement". The name which is found mainly in Devon, may perhaps also be of English locational origin from any of the following places, Glanvill Farm in Devon; Clanville in Somerset and Hampshire; Clanfield in Hampshire or from other places similarly named, composed of the Old English "cleon", clean, (that is, free of brambles and undergrowth) or "gleam", merriment, and the second element, "feld", pasture, open country, hence a field which was "clean", or where sports were held.One William de Glanvile was mentioned in the records of St. Benet of Holme, 1020-1240 in Norfolk. Randulf de Glanville was sheriff of Yorkshire from 1163 to 1170 and 1174 to 1189 as sheriff of Lancashire, defeated the Scots and captured William the Lion in 1174, went with Richard 1 on crusade and died at Acre. One Alsyn Glanfield was christened at Mamhead, Devonshire on May 3rd 1575. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Glamuilla, which was dated 1086, in the "Domesday Book of Norfolk", 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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