There are three possible sources of this intriguing name, the first being that it a variation of the surname Levi, itself from the Hebrew male given name 'Levi', meaning 'joining', borne by a son of Jacob and Leah. Bearers of this name are Levites, of the tribe of Levi, who form a hereditary caste who assist the 'kohanim'. However, it may also be of Medieval English origin, from the given name 'Lefwi', composed of the elements 'leof', dear, beloved, the 'wig', war. The third possibility is that this surname is a French locational name from Levy(-Saint-Nom) in Seine-et-Oise, so called from the Gallo-Roman personal name 'Laevius', from the Latin 'laevus', left. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below). In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including Levy, Levey, Levi, Leavey, Lewy, etc.. On September 30th 1798, Daniel, son of Daniel and Hannah Levay, was christened at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Levi, which was dated 1275, Subsidy Rolls, of Worcestershire, during the reign of King Edward 1st, 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. 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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