This surname of PEEVER was of the locational group of surnames, originally derived from the Welsh word PEFRE meaning beautiful and pure. Fixed hereditary surnames began to be taken in Wales after the administrative union with England in the 16th century. At first, however, this development was confined to the classes who had dealings with the English bureaucracy, and the adoption of surnames did not become general until the 18th century and after. It is the name of several small streams in Scotland, and there are two burns of the name in East Lothian and a place called Peffer Mill near Craigmillar, Midlothian. As a surname it is very uncommon and has been derived from residence on a Peffer burn. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from prexisting names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Roger PEIURE who was recorded in 1198, and William PAIUER was documented in Yorkshire in 1219. William PEYFORER was recorded in Scotland in 1301. 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. Symon PEFFER of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The name is also spelt PEVER, PEEVERS and PEFFERS. A later instance of the name mentions a David Hay PEFFERS, antiquarian and fine art dealer who was recorded in Dunbar, and died in 1941. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. (Pever).
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