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2,395 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

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About the study

I started the one name study after learning about the "€œGuild of One Name Studies"€ during one of my many Genealogy courses. Progress was being made with the Caverly surname in North America and although family folklore had the Caverly surname origins in England there was no documented proof to support this.

With on going web pages, on-line family genealogy files and a DNA Project, adding a link to a one name study seemed to be a logical step to make contact with others and help all those distant cousins connect.

Variant names

Although I started of with just two variants, Caverly and Caverley, at the beginning of my research I suspected there were many more possible connections.

Other variants such as:

Calverley, Coverly, Coverley, Caberly, Cavalier, Cavallier, Cavelier, Cabley and possibly others need to be considered.

Name origin

In North America we can find documents going back 300 year supporting the spelling of the name Caverly. Some early Genealogists made a leap of faith to indicate the Caverly surname was connected to the surname Calverley. Part of this appears to be due to the similarities in spelling to a very old English name.

The name Calverley can be traced back approximately 800 years in England. In fact there was a community in the Leeds area with the same name.

There has been much written about the Calverley surname, some good some tragic. There have been knights and nobles related to the name with a folklore history going back to John "€œthe Scot"€. There are a number of recorded "€œArms"€ for several Calverley gentlemen and in some cases documents spelled the name as Caverly.

There is also some folklore surrounding the name Cavellier that would seem to have a French derivative.

History records information regarding one Calverley who became a knight after fighting for the King of England. It is said he occupied and lived in France for many years. This could also lead to variants of the name.

Historical occurrences of the name

Names such as Sir Hugh Calverley and Sir Anthony Calverley can be found in old English documents on Medieval English History.

Sir Hugh Caverly, appears about 1356 (d1389) under Edward III. He was a military officer and was noted as the first to use guns in the service of England. He invaded France and took Calais where he was governor for 20 years.

Sir John Calverley, some records recorded about 1403 under Henry IV.

Sir Anthony Calverley, appears about 1544. Records in Scotland's College of Heraldry.

Sir Henry Caverly, appears about 1680.

In North America, Robert Boody Caverly (1806-1887) , poet, historian and writter, produced on of the earliest surviving histories about the Caverly family name in North America. His book concentrated on the New Hampshire branch of the Caverly surname.

Name frequency

The Caverly surname did well in North America. It may not rank as high as many common surnames but the Caverly families managed to stretch throughout North America and to maintain the same spelling of the surname for many.

Distribution of the name

Although not a common name, the Caverly surname has spread throughout North America can be found in the thousands. In the United Kingdom the surname spelled Caverly is not as commonly found as Calverley. We also find the surname Caverly in Ireland. The surname spread throughout much of the British Empire.


A Caverly DNA Project was started in the year 2000. It is a small project that started out to determine if there was a genetic link between the different Caverly surname branches in North America. Details can be found on the Caverly DNA Project page.

The DNA project is open to all that are interested and who specifically would like to compare data to other variants of the possible Caverly surname.