This unusual and interesting name is of either English or Norman (French) origin. The English source is locational, where the surname derives from the place called "Cave" in East Yorkshire, recorded as "Cava" and in the Domesday Book of 1086. The placename derives from a river name, from the Old English pre 7th Century word "afe", quick, prompt, nimble. The second possible derivation is from the Norman "nickname" surname "Chauf" or "Cauf", derived from the Old French "chauf", bald, from the Latin "calvus", and used of a bald man. The variations of the modern surname from this source include "Chave", "Cave", and "Kave", and the surname is first recorded as Roger le Cauf, in The Curia Rolls of Cornwall, 1214. One Richard Cave was an early emigrant the New World, leaving London on the "Bonaventure" in January 1634 bound for Virginia. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nigel de Cava, which was dated 1185, in the "Records of the Templars in Yorkshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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