The surname of HEAVER was of the occupational group of surnames 'the heaver' derived from the Old English word HEVE, meaning to lift or carry, a porter or carrier. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state.
Early records of the name mention Geoffrey Heure, who was documented in the year 1297 in County Cornwall, and Edward Hever appears in County Somerset in 1303. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in Britain were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. William Heaver of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Cuckfield, County Surrey, descended from the Hevers of Hever Wood, Surrey during the reign of Henry VIII.
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