This interesting and unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a medieval variant of the locational surname Spalding or Spaulding, which derives from either of the places called 'Spalding' in Lincolnshire and 'Spaldington' in East Yorkshire. The placenames are derived from the Old English pre 7th Century tribal name 'Spaldingas', people of the district called 'Spald' thought to mean 'ditches', referring to drainage channels in fen and marsh land. There are a number of surnames formed with the first element 'Spav', (a dialectal variant of 'Spald') to be found in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire in 16th and 17th Century records : Spavald (1565, Lincolnshire), Spavinge (1583, ibid.), Spavand (1600, ibid.), Spavon (1602, Yorkshire), Spavall (1623, ibid.) and Spavard (1662, ibid.).The marriage of Jeremy Spaven and Alice Bowles was recorded on July 21st 1663 at Holy Trinity, York, Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes Spaven (christening), which was dated April 4th 1573, Broughton by Brigg, Lincolnshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, '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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