Recorded as Carver, Kerver and very occasionally McCarver, this interesting surname can be either English or Scottish, and has two possible origins. Firstly, it may be an occupational name for a carver of wood or a sculptor of stone. If so the derivation is from the pre 7th century word "ceorfan" meaning to cut or carve. Secondly, it may derive from the Norman-French word "caruier" meaning a ploughman, and as such would have been job descriptive probably for a contractor, rather than an ordinary ploughman. Job descriptive surnames usually became hereditary when a son followed his father into the same line of business. Early examples of recordings include Richard le Kerver, in the Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire in 1275, and William Keruer, is noted in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1327. In Scotland John Kerver was a merchant in Edinburgh in 1476 whilst Rober M'Carwor witness a charter at Scone in 1544. A coat of arms granted to the Carver family depicts a black field charged with a gold fleur-de-lis on a black chevron, the crest being a Saracen's head couped proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gerard le Carver. This was dated 1209, in the Feet of Fines for the county of Essex, during the reign of King John of England, 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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