Recorded as Liver, Lyver, and the French looking Livoir, this is a surname of several possible origins. It may be locational from some place such as Liverpool, or it could be topographical, and describe a person who lived or worked on a "lifra", an Olde English pre 7th century word for a stream or river. It is also possible that it could have French and possibly Huguenot protestant origins, and be a locational surname from one or more of the various places called Livet, mainly found in Normandy and Brittany regions. Locational surnames by their nature are usually "from" names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes to move elsewhere. This could be the next village or town, but often was in the case of the British Isles, London, where it was "known" that the streets were paved with gold! Spelling being at best indifferent and local dialects very thick, soon gave rise to the development of alternative spellings. The influx of refugees from the Continent in the 17th century swelled and further confused, the process. In this case early examples of recordings taken from surviving registers of Greater London include: Agnes Lyver, christened at St. Margarets, Westminster, on November 13th 1578, William Liver, a witness at St Giles Cripplegate, on February 18th 1655, and George Livoir, who married Mary Chapman at Christ Church, Greyfriars, on January 15th 1816.
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