The surname of DIVVER was a Cambridgeshire surname. The name was brought to England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conquerer. It is known as the Domesday Book. Early records mention Gunnilda Divere, 1273 County Cambridge. Alanus Diverus of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Richard Doverse was documented in the year 1597 in County Yorkshire. A mention was made in 1742 of William Diver, for a years rent of part of the Great Garden, Norwich. Save for a handful of families settled in the capital of Ireland, this surname is still found exclusively in its original home county of Donegal. The Diver families descend from the Donegal sept O'Duibhidhir. A branch which settled in County Mayo adopted the spellings Dever and Devers which both survive in that county.
When the sparse Irish population began to increase it became necessary to broaden the base of personal identification by moving from single names to a more definate nomenclature. The prefix MAC was given to the father's christian name, or O to that of a grandfather or even earlier ancestor. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. 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.
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