This interesting surname is of German and Ashkenazic origin and is a metonymic occupational name for an apothecary who dispensed various types of medicinal powder, deriving from the German "Pulver" meaning powder. The 15th Century meaning however appears to have moved from medicine to war; a Pulver being considered a maker of gunpowder. The surname is first recorded in England in the mid 17th Century, (see below). Variations of the spelling in the modern idiom include Pulver, Pulfar, Pulfer and Pulvermacher. Recordings of the surname from the London church registers include; Grigory Pulver, who married Isabell Groues, on June 10th 1663, at Allhallows, London Wall; on March 20th 1664, Elizabeth daughter of Gregory and Izabell Pulver, was christened at St. James, Clerkenwell; Elizabeth Pulfer married John Melson on February 17th 1682, at St. James, Dukes Place; and on November 16th 1682, Dorothy, daughter of Edward and Dorothy Pulfer, was christened at St. Matthew's, Friday Street. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Pulver, who married Katherine Hewes, which was dated September 24th 1655, London, during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, "The Great Protector", 1649 - 1658. 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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