This interesting medieval surname with variant spellings, Pavy, Pavie and Pavis, and the diminutives, 'son of or 'Little Pav', in Pavel, Pavitt, Pavett, has two possible origins. The first derives from the ancient female given name 'Pavia', itself a development from the Old French 'Pavie' meaning 'peach'. As such the name was either a term of endearment, which seems logical, or may possibly have applied to a seller of fruits. Secondly, the name may be locational from the Italian town of Pavia in Lombardy, Northern Italy. The first recording of the surname in Britain was in the early 13th Century when foreigners with special skills or connections, were encouraged to settle in England. What is certain is that thereafter in its many forms the name achieved some measure of popularity throughout the kingdom. Examples of the early recordings include such as Richard Paveye, recorded as a witness in the 1251 court lists known as the 'Feet of Fines', for the county of Warwickshire. Later examples include on May 22nd 1579, George Pavey who married Elizabeth Hayle, at St Margarets, Westminster, whilst Nycholas Pavey was christened on March 3rd 1605, at All Hallows, London Wall, London. Elizabeth Pavitt married |Henry Pinchard, also at St Margarets on May 16th 1639, whilst on January 22nd 1660, Mary Pavett married Samuel Cotton at St Peters church, Pauls Wharf, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the family has the blazon of a silver fesse crenelles, between three gold eagles displayed, on a black field. The Crest is a black lion rampant guardant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Paui, which was dated 1219, who was a witness in the Assize Rolls of Yorkshire, 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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