This is a famous Anglo-Scottish surname, and one to be proud of. In the 17th century it caused much heart beating amongst the ladies, and apoplexy amongst the gentlemen, or at least those that came into close contact with one particular nameholder. The most famous highwayman of the period, and there was considerable competition for the title at a time when highwaymen often had a status not dissimilar to 20th century film stars, was John Nevison, also known as "Swift Nick". It was he who probably carried out most of the famous or perhaps infamous, robberies, later attributed to, or claimed by Dick Turpin. It was almost certainly Nevison and not Turpin, who made the celebrated ride to York, although as it happens, it was in York that both eventually came to the same end (of a rope), on the walls of that city, Nevison in 1685 and Turpin fifty years later in 1739. The patronymic Nevision, also spelt as Neaverson and Nevinson, is believed to derive from the Gaelic "Naomhin". This means "Little Saint", or in this case "son of Little saint", a translation that would have made "Nick" Nevison smile, if he was aware of the meaning. Whilst the first recording(s) is in Scotland, it is probably in England that the name first appears in early church registers. These recordings include Jane Nevisone at St Antholin's church, London, in 1635, and again in 1637, as Jone Nevinson, so much for spelling. The first known recording is probably that of Sir Angus de Novynesone, of Dunfermline, Scotland, in the charters of Tillydak, in the year1535.
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