Recorded in a wide range of spellings including: Purver, Purves, Purviss, and Purvey, this is an Anglo-Scottish surname, but one ultimately of Norman-French origins. Particulary recorded in the northern counties of England and in Scotland, it is a metonymic occupational name for an appointed official, one who was responsible for obtaining the supplies needed for a monastery or manor house, a 'purveyor'. Probably first introduced after the Norman invasion of England in 1066, the derivation is from the Olde French word 'porveoir', meaning to provide or supply. Early examples of the surname recording include one of Thomas Purvas, who was granted a land charter in Scotland in 1427 by the Duke of Albany which read (quote) 'de impioracione terrum de Swynwode', whilst Jok Purvas was a yeoman of his stables in 1474. Other recordings include Jane Purveyor, who married Richard Barker at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, London, on August 10th 1597, Ann Purvis and Cornelius Butler who were married on the 20th July 1687 at St. Katherine's by the Tower, city of London, and Robert Purver, who was christened at St Pauls church, Covent Garden, also in the city of London, on January 14th 1691. The first recorded spelling of the family name is possibly that of William Purveys. This was dated 1214, in the register of St. Mary's Abbey, Melrose, during the reign of King William, known as the Lion of Scotland, 1165 - 1214. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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