Recorded as Staves, Stavers, Stivers, and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is quite rare, and originates from the pre 7th century word "staef" meaning a stave, and is therefore either occupational for a maker of staves or possibly a nickname for a tall, thin person, one who resembled a stave! The surname is recorded locationally in placenames such as Staveley, meaning the enclosure (leah) where staves were cut, and found in the places in Yorkshire and Derbyshire, or Staverton in Devonshire.This latter means the farm (tun) of Staefen, the latter being a nickname. Occupational names were amongst the earliest to be created, since to name a person after his or her job was probably the easiest method of identification. However these did not usually become hereditary unless a son followed the father into the same line of business. Many did not, which accounts for the scarity of some surnames. Early examples of recordings include James Stavers, who was christened at the church of St Gregory by St Pauls Cathedral on September 2nd 1614, and John Staves, a christening witness at St. Mary Whitechapel, at Stepney, also in the city of London on June 23rd 1692. 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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