Recorded in several forms including Guiver, Gyver, and Guyver, this is an English surname. It is believed to be a metronymic or a name which descends from the mothers side of the family, rather than the more usual fathers or patronymic. Howver spelt the surname is quite rare and a development of the Olde English pre 7th Century female personal name "Gifu". This was a word which originally meant a gift. The personal name was probably used mostly as a short form of any of the various compound personal names with "gifu" as a final element, such as "Aethelgifu", translating as noble-gift, "Godgifu", or gods gift, and "Wulfgifu", the more prosaic wolf-gift! Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving charters and rolls of the medieval period include such examples as Richard Gyver of Ugley in the county of Essex who died in 1543, and Thomas Guiver and Martha Morning, who were married at the town of Chelmsford, also Essex, on February 3rd 1693. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Thomas Gyva. This was dated 1489, in the records of the town of Bishops Stortford, in the county of Hertfordshire, during the reign of King Henry V11, 1485 - 1509. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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