This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Leofing" or "Lyfing". The given name is the patronymic form of the Olde English personal names "Leofa" (masculine) and "Leofe" (feminine), dear or beloved; hence "son of the beloved one". The name appears as a personal name in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Leuing", "Louincus" and "Liuing", and the surname is first recorded in the mid 13th Century (see below). Henry Lywing is registered in "The History of St.Bartholomew's Hospital", London (1272) and Robert Levinge is noted in the 1275 Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire. The surname has many variant spellings ranging from Levinge, Lewing, Liveing and Lowing to Livings and Lowings. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include; James, son of Charles and Elizabeth Levings, who was christened on November 24th 1692 at St. Sepulchre; and Mary, daughter of Edward and Sarah Levings, who was christened on May 10th 1719 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a green shield, with a gold chevron, in chief three silver escallops, the Crest being within a green chaplet a silver escallop. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Livinge, which was dated 1259, in the "Essex Feet of Fines", during the reign of King 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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