The village of Reaveley in Northumberland is certainly the origin of some of the modern name holders, although others may derive from the Anglicisation of the French 'Rievaulx', as in the former Abbey near Helmsley in North Yorkshire. The name probably translates as the dweller at the rough lands from the pre 10th Century 'Reja' (rough) and 'leah', a farm or enclosure. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Reveley, Revely and Reeveley. The village name is first recorded in 1242 whilst the surname development includes the following Elizabeth Reeveley who was christened at St. Andrews, Holborn on September 22th 1697, and Edward Reveley who married Mary Gibson at St. Katherine's by the Tower on October 20th 1730. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anne Raveley, which was dated November 5th 1566, who married Mychaell Brisley at St. Olaves, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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