This interesting surname is of Scottish origin, and is derived from the Norman personal name "Gervase", composed of the Germanic elements "geri, gari", spear, and a second element which is of uncertain meaning and original form. The personal name was introduced into England by followers of William the Conqueror after the Invasion of 1066, and it gained some popularity throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, partly ecause it was borne by a saint who was martyred under the Roman Emperor Domitian; this saint later became one of the patrons of Milan, Italy.The surname is usually found recorded in England as Jarvis, Jervis, Gervis and Gervase, while Jarvie is the more popular form in Scotland. The personal name was first recorded as "Geruasius" in Leicestershire (1158 - 1166), and the surname from this source was first recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Shropshire, dated 1202, with one John Geruas". Recordings from Scotland include, Robert Jarvie, a workman in Lessuden, in 1693. In Scott's "Rob Roy", Bailie Nicol Jarvie was a Glasgow tradesman and magistrate. A Coat of Arms granted to a family of the name is described thus: Argent (silver) on a chevron gules (red) between two goshawks belled in chief sable and a demi lion of the second issuant out of the base wavy azure an elephant's head couped or (gold), between two bezants, the Crest being an eagle rising proper. The Motto, "Ad littora tendo", translates as, "I make for the shore". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thom Jarva, which was dated 1527, in "Extracts from the records of the royal burgh of Stirling, A.D. 1295 - 1666", during the reign of King James V of Scotland, 1513 - 1542. 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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