Italian surnames are the most difficult of all European surnames to research accurately. In most cases their spelling form varies from generation to generation to the point where ultimately only one or two letters from the original name remain in situ. Furthermore the fragmented states of Italy prior to Garibaldi's 1860 creation of the Kingdom of Italy, operated their own bureaucracy to greater or usually lesser, effect, leading to erratic or non existent records. In this case though we have a locational surname which derives from the town of Pavia in Lombardy, Northern Italy.This surname in many forms is recorded in almost every European country. These spellings include Pavier (Suisse), Pavie (Langedoc), Puve (Germany), Pavey (England), as well as Pavia, Pavese, Puvia, and Pavinese in Italy. The meaning of Pavia was 'the Peach farm or orchard', and perhaps not surprisingly this gave rise to 'Pavia' becoming a medieval female christian name, popular in France, but now apparently extinct. Early recordings of the surname include Guiseppe Pavia, (also recorded as Pavese), who married Catarina Piacentino at Pavia, Lombardy on June 14th 1626, and Toussain Pavie of Rumigny, Ardennes, France, christened on February 2nd 1660. A later registration showing the spread of the surname, and a dialectal change, is that of Anna Maria Puve who was recorded in Rheinhessen, Germany, on July 27th 1811. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Catharine Pavia, which was dated January 15th 1581, married Antoine Eschard, at Geneve, Suisse, during the reign of Emperor Rudolf 11 of the Holy Roman Empire, 1576 - 1612. 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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