Recorded in the modern spellings of Lively and Liveley, this is a surname of English origins. Although it may appear to be a nickname for a person who was active and sporting, it is possible that given the robust humour of the Chaucerian and medieval period, it may have meant the reverse. Other researchers have suggested that the name is not a nickname at all, but is locational from some now "lost" village called "Laefer-leah" or similar, and translating as "The enclosure or farm (leah) by the lake". This is quite possible as it is known that over three thousand surnames of the British Isles do originate from places which have totally disappeared from the countryside, the only memory and reminder in the 20th century being the surname itself, sometimes in a myriad of spellings. In this case the first recordings would appear to be those of Robarte Lyvely who died in London in 1543 and was buried at St Dionis Backchurch, in the city of London, and later Alys Lyveley who married Robarte Kyng at the same church in 1549, during the reign of King Edward V1 of England, and known as "The boy king". He died in 1554 aged only seventeen.
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