Recorded in several spellings including Javes, Jeaves, Jeeves, Geaves, and Geeves, this is a famous English surname of French origins. It is probably a metronymic, which is to say that it originates not from the fathers name sometime back in the 13th century, but from the mother. This maybe because either the mother inherited estates and lands in her own right, or that she was a widow, inheriting from her husband. The derivation is from the female personal name "Genevive", a name introduced into England by the Norman-French after the Invasion of 1066."St Genevive" is the patron saint of Paris, so it perhaps not surprising that the name was extremely popular in the Medieval Period. The name in England always seems to have been a short or nickname spelling. It is said that an original charter in Lincolnshire is sealed with the name "Geva", and recorded " known as Geneve, the wife of Segar". This was in the year 1130. Examples of the first surname recordings include Richard Geeves, a landowner in Oxfordshire, in the 1279 Hundred Rolls for that county, and Thomas Jeve, in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of Somerset in the year 1327. The very first (sur)name recording may be that of Willelmus filus Geve, in the Curia Regis Rolls of the county of Northumberland in the year 1208. This was in the reign of the infamous King John of England, 1199 - 1216.
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