The surname of AVERY was a baptismal name 'the son of Avery'. The name is strongly represented in the United States, especially in Boston. This is easily accounted for since Jacob Averie (aged 33) and George Averie (aged 23) sailed for Virginia in 1635. The earliest of the name recorded in England appears to be Hugh filius Auveray, of Nottingham, who was documented in the year 1273, and Ralph Averey appears in Norfolk in the same year. Edward Avory of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification. Later instances of the name mention Ralphe, son of Mr. Averson, who was baptised at St. Peter, Cornhill, London in the year 1541, and Avere Thompson of County Cumberland, registered at Oxford University in 1608. Mathewe Averson and Elizabeth Phillipes were married at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in the year 1609, John Burley wed Mary Avarey in London in 1621 (no church given) and James Avory and Lucy Christmas were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1780. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
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