This rare and interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from some minor or unrecorded place, perhaps a "lost" village. There are an estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from Britain since the 12th Century; the prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool-trade in the 15th Century, and natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eighth of the population perished. The original place is believed to have been situated in east England, because of the large number of early recordings in that region, with the component elements being the Olde English pre 7th Century "sloh", slough, miry place, a hollow filled with mud, bog, and "graf", grove, brushwood, thicket; hence, "thicket by a slough". In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Slowgrave, Slograve, Slogrove, Sloegrave and Slowgrove. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Richard Slowgrave and Johane Pledgarde on October 30th 1598, at Ashdon, Essex; the marriage of Richard Slograve and Alice Younge at Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, on January 31st 1641; and the marriage of Thomas Slowgrove and Mary Carter on July 16th 1749, at Alresford, Essex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Slograve, which was dated February 1598, witness at the christening of his son, Ralphe, at Bartlow, Cambridgeshire, 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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