Recorded in several spelling forms including: Polfer, Pulfar, Pulfer, and Pulver, this is a German and English medieval occupational surname. It is apparently derived from the pre 7th century Germanic word "pulver", but this itself is ultimately of Ancient Roman origins, and fomerly described a chemist or apothecary, one who manufactured medicines. The origination is 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(macher)" being considered a maker of gunpowder! The surname is well recorded in Germany as Pulver, Pulvermacher, and Pulvermuller, the powder maker or miller, Kasper Pulvermacher being recorded in Helibronn in 1493, whilst examples of recordings in England include: Hannah Pulfer of Clerkenwell, London in the year 1693, and Ann Pulfar of Cripplegate, London, in 1783. The first recorded spelling of the family name in the surviving church register recordings, is possibly that of Richard Pulver. Dated September 24th 1655, he married Katherine Hewes by civil licence in London. This was during the "republican" reign of Oliver Cromwell, sometimes 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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