This interesting surname with variant spellings Severs, Seaver, Seavers and Severe has two possible origins. Firstly it may derive from an unrecorded female given name "Saefaru", which is composed of the Old English pre 7th Century elements "sae" meaning sea and "faru" a passage. "Seuare" a late variant of the name is recorded in the Knights Templars of Somerset (1185). It may also have derived from a nickname "the severe", referring to someone who is harsh or stern. Early recordings of the surname include Walter Sefare, registered in the Pipe Rolls of Bedfordshire (1230), Ralph Seffare, noted in the Subsidy Rolls of suffolk (1327), and Henry Sever in the History or Norfolk (1441). On May 8th, 1598, William Sever married Katherine Ball at St. Mary Aldermary, London, and on August 17th 1600, Thomas Sever, son of John Sever was christened in the same place. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Seuare, which was dated 1185, Pipe Rolls of Cornwall, during the reign of King Henry 11, "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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