This Irish surname of GARVIN is frequently anglicized to GARVAN. The name of a sept of the southern Ui Neill which migrated to Mayo. The name is also spelt GARVERY. This surname of Garvin is an anglicized form of Gaelic O'Gairbhin (descendant of Gairbhin) a personal name derived from garbh, rough, cruel. Ireland is one of the earliest sources of the development of patronymic names in northern Europe. Irish Clan or bynames can be traced back to the 4th century B.C. and Mac (son of) and O (grandson or ancestor of) evolved from this base, the original literal meaning of which has been lost due to the absence of written records and linguistic ambivalences which subtly but inexorably became adopted through usage. Genealogists and lexographers accept that the patronymic base does not refer to a location, quite the contrary. The use of the prefix 'Bally' (town of) attaching to the base name, identifying the location. The base root was also adopted by people residing in the demographic area without a common ancestor. These groups called 'Septs' were specially prevalent in Ireland. The first Normans arrived in Ireland in the 12th and 13th centuries to form an alliance with the King of Leinster. Under Elizabeth I in the 16th century, settlers from England established themselves around Dublin, then under English control and Presbyterian Scots emigrated to Ulster, introducing English and Scottish roots. A notable member of this name was James Louis GARVIN (l868-l947) English journalist,born in Birmingham, England. He became, after a spell as leader-writer for 'The Daily Telegraph', editor of 'The Observer' (l908-l942). He also edited the 'Encyclopaedia Britannica' (l4th edition) and wrote a biography of Joseph Chamberlain (l932-34). 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.
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