The early research carried out by the Victorian etymologists on this surname, deduced that it was a form of the French 'Escrivier' - and therefore a variant spelling of 'Scriuens or Scrivins' the usual English surname development. As such the name would have been occupational for a clerk or scribe, a highly paid and highly respected member of the community, at a time when few people, perhaps only one in a hundred could do much more than read or write their name. However recent research suggests a second possibility that in fact the surname was originally locational and derived from the Cornish placename St. Ervan or St. Evan, from the Breton St. Ermes, a 5th Century hermit. Either way the name has been recorded in London since the late Middle Ages, with the plural form being a patronymic, and a short spelling of 'Strevenson'. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elen Streven, which was dated January 11th 1568, married Thomas Barnys, at St. Margarets, Westminster, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, '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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