Recorded in the modern spellings as Gover and Govier, this is an English surname. It appears to have a French ancestry, but there is little evidence to support this suggestion, although the French Huguenot refugees of the early 18th century called Gavre, and believed to have transposed their spelling to Gover. Long before this date and throughout the recorded surname history the name has appeared in the spelling of Gofiar and Gover, whilst the spelling form as Govier is specifically found in the South West of England and especially the Taunton to Exeter region. The origination is from the medieval English phrase "go fairly", and as such probably describes a messenger or herald, one who moved easily around the country. The probable "occupation" is at least partly confirmed by the earliest recording shown below. Surviving late medieval church recordings include: John Gover, whose son also called John, was christened at St Margarets Westminster, on May 3rd 1547, and Andrew Govier, who married Annes Bowne on July 18th 1560, at St. Mary Magdalene, Taunton, in the county of Somerset. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard le Gofiar. This was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls" of Somerset, during the reign of King Edward 111rd of England, 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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