Recorded in several spellings including Pickaver, Pickover, and Pickhaver, this is an English surname. It is locational either from a now 'lost' medieval village, or from living at a place on a bank above a river. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th century word "pik", meaning a pike or top of a hill, or in this case a bank, and "ofer" meaning a river. The modern Cheshire villages of which there ar five, known as Peover, but in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as Peverhee, probably have the same meaning and origin. If there ever was such a village as "Pik-ofer" or similar, we have not been able to identify the site. The name being locational, that is to say from a place, appears to be most recorded in the surviving church registers of Greater London. This may be because when the original village was abandoned for whatever reason, the villagers left en masse to London, probably the only city that they had ever heard of. Early examples of the recordings include Ann Pickhaver of Shoreditch on June 21st, 1752, whilst amongst the unusual variants are Alice Pukhaver (1735), Nathaniel Picheuer (1749) and George Peckover baptised in London in 1833. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Elisebeth Peckhaver. This was dated July 26th 1624, when she married Hugh Paige at St. Dunstans in the East, Stepney, during the reign of King James V1, of Scotland and 1st of England, 1603 - 1625. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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