This surname of ELVERY was a baptismal name 'the son of Aldway'. The name was derived from the Old word 'Aeoelwig' literally meaning 'noble war'. The name has numerous variant spellings which include ALVEY, ALVY, ELVY, ELPHEE and ELPHEY. Early records of the name mention Ailwi (without surname) who was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, and Willelmus filius Ailwi appears in 1206 in Northumberland. Peter Athelwy appears in the year 1302 in County Suffolk. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe. Later instances of the name mention Edward Hewlinge and Elizabeth Allewaye who married in London in 1616. William Maslen married Mary Allaway, St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1788. James Alloway married Barbara Pittett, 1786, ibid. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but they were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1327-1377) that it became common practice for all people. In Scotland the surname is found in Aberdeen, most probably from Alloa in Clackmannanshire, an old spelling of which was Alleway. John Aulway was a Scots prisoner of war, liberated from custody in the Tower of London in 1413, and may be the same John Aloway who was servitor to King James 11 in the year 1440. He received a safe conduct to travel into England in the year 1417. Elizabeth Alloweius is recorded in Dumfermline in 1549 and Marion Alloway in Linlithgow is mentioned in 1684. The eagle depicted in the crest is emblematical of fortitude and magnaminity of mind. The Romans used the figure of an eagle for their ensign, and their example has been often followed. It is the device of Russia, Austria, Germany and the United States of America.
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