This is an unusual dialectal patronymic spelling of a surname which derived originally from the town of Gerponville in the Department of Seine-Inferieure, France. The early Anglicized spelling was Charpenville, Cherville or Charville (see below), and by the Middle Ages this had crystallized into Charvill or Shervell. Other changes occurred as nameholders moved to different areas of Britain. By the 18th Century the forms included Shavel, Chivel, Chivell, Chivill, Chivall, Shivell and Shervell. The earliest known recording suggests that the surname was later than the 1066 Invasion, although it is known that William the Conqueror had a number of followers from the Gerponville region. Early recordings include John de Cherville of London in 1302, and John Charvell in the Petre Rolls of 1522. Church recordings include Abraham Chervyle, at St. Margaret's, Westminster, on February 12th 1551, Harie Chivall who married Mary Bye at St Gabriels Fenchurch, on August 10th 1558, and John Sheavill, christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on September 11th 1640. Some years later Katherin Chivell was christened at the same church on March 9th 1665, although whether she was related is not clear. An example taken from northern registers is that of Francis Shevills, who was a witness at Tynemouth, Northumberland on August 24th 1695. The Coat of Arms has the blazon of a red field, an ermine chevron between two silver crescents in chief, and a fleur de lis in base. The crest is a demi lion rampant issuing from a gold naval coronet. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Charpenville, which was dated 1296, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Essex", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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