Recorded in a number of associated spellings including Service, Servis, Servais, Servaes, Sarver, Server, Sirvar and Sarvis, this is an English and French surname. It derives from the French words cerveise meaning ale or beer, or servir to serve originally given as an occupational name to a brewer or tavern-keeper. The name was initially introduced into England by followers of William the Conqueror after the Norman Invasion of 1066. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The surname was first recorded in the latter part of the 12th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: Walter Cerveise in the 1206 Curia Regis Rolls of Oxfordshire; William Ceruaise in the Pipe Rolls of Berkshire in the year 1230; and Robert Sereveyse in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire in 1275. The name was reintroduced into England by Huguenot refugees fleeing religious persecutions in France at the end of the 17th Century; on January 8th 1693, Estienne Servais, was christened in the French Huguenot Church, Threadneedle Street, London. There is an old Stirlingshire family of the name who claim descent from one William le Servetur, burgess of Stirling, who rendered homage in 1296. Recordings from surviving London church registers include: the marriage of Anne Sarver to William Power on May 17th 1761 at St Botolphs Bishopgate, and that of George Service to Rose Arthur on October 18th 1785, at St. Anne's, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Cerveise, which was dated 1177, in the "Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1189 - 1199. 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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