Recorded in several spelling forms including: Polfer, Pulfar, Pulfer, and Pulver, the latter being an example of the interchangeability of 'v' and 'f' in the late medieval spellings, this is an English surname, derived from the pre 7th century German, but ultimately of Ancient Roman origins. It was originally occupational for an apothecary, one who manufactured medicines. The derivation being from the Latin word "pulveris" which translates as "one who grinds powders". During the later part of the medieval period from around the 15th century, the translated meaning appears to have changed from medicine to war, a pulver being considered a maker of gunpowder! The surname is first recorded in Germany where it is also found as "Pulvermacher", the powder maker, whilst examples of recordings in England include: Hannah Pulfer of London in the year 1693, and Ann Pulfar of Cripplegate, London, in 1783. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Pulver, which was dated September 24th 1655, when he married Katherine Hewes by civil licence in London. This was during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, known as 'The Great Protector', 1649 - 1658. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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