Recorded in over fifty surname spellings including: Jervis and Jarvis of England, Gervaise and Gervex (France), Gervas, Hervas, and Hervarth (Germany), Vason and Gervasoni (Italy), Fasin (Switzerland), and many more, this interesting surname is of pre 7th century Germanic origins. It derives from the personal name "Gervase", composed of the elements "geri," meaning a spear, and possibly "vaulx", a valley.The name as a personal name, was popular throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, because it was originally that of a Christian saint martyred by the Roman Emperor Domitian in the 3rd century a.d.A secondary developed source of the name in England is from the abbey and village of Jervaulx in the county of North Yorkshire. This is a Norman French 11th century form of the river name "Ure", and "vaulx", a valley. The surname is first recorded in England, which was the first country to adopt hereditary surnamesnational. This was John Geruas, a landowner of the county of Shropshire, who appears in the tax rolls of King John, in the year 1202. Other early recordings include: Thomas Geruais of Norfolk in 1230, Konrad Hervart of Augsberg in 1251, and Clewin Versene of Ensisheim in 1290, both Germany, Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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