This most unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is in most cases a patronymic form of the surname Leaf, which derives from the Old English pre 7th Century personal names "Leofa", (masculine), and "Leofe" (feminine), from the Olde English vocabulary word "leof", dear, beloved. These given names were in part short or pet forms of various compound names with the first element "leof", such as "Leofric", from "leof" and "ric", power, and "Leofwine", from "leof"and "wine", friend, and in part independent affectionate bynames.In some cases the modern surname Leaf(e), also found as Leef, Lief, Leif, Life, Liff, Leaves and Leavis, may be topographical in origin, for someone who lived in a densely foliated area, derived from the Middle English "leaf", leaf. One Robert Intheleaves is recorded in "the Calendar of the Letter Books of the City of London", in 1322. London Church Registers record the christening of Syriack Leaves on December 16th 1570, at St. Christopher le Stocks, and the marriage of Hendrie Leaves and Mariane Saire at St. Andrew's, Enfield, on October 3rd 1602. A Coat of Arms granted to the Leaves family of Kensington (Middlesex) depicts, on a gold shield, two red pheons in chief, in base a green garb, a chief dovetailed blue. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Leve, which was dated 1229, in the "Dorsetshire Patent Rolls" during the reign of Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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