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2,389 study surnames with us
and a further 6,077 variant names.

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About the study

While researching my family history I came across the name Guiver in Saffron Walden in Essex, England.  The name seemed quite prolific in the area, yet didn't seem to appear anywhere else I was researching.  I became fascinated in the name and wanted to learn more about it.  It was about this time that I found the Guild of One-name Studies stall at the 'Who Do You Think You Are' Show and it was clear in my mind I had to create a study for the name Guiver.  

As I am a mum to four children and a full-time foster carer too, I am very limited on the time I have for research, therefore the study is growing very slowly.  However, I see this as a long term project so hope it will develop over the years.

I am currently limiting my study to England and Wales, but look forward to being in a position to take my study global.

Variant names

Gyver, Guyver and Quiver

Name origin

Guiver is believed to have been a name which descended from the mothers side of the family, as opposed to the more common practice of maintaining the fathers name.  It is a rare name and may have originated from the Olde English pre-7th Century female first name 'Gifu' meaning gift.  It was most likely used as a shortened version of names such as 'Aethelgifu' translatng as noble gift; 'Goggifu', Gods gift; and 'Wulfgifu', Wolf gift.


Historical occurrences of the name

Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving charters and rolls of the medieval period include such examples as Richard Gyver of Ugley in the county of Essex who died in 1543, and Thomas Guiver and Martha Morning, who were married at the town of Chelmsford, also Essex, in 1693.

Name frequency

In 1998 there were 441 recordings of the surname Guiver in the UK.



Distribution of the name

According to the 1881 census the only occurrences of the name were found in and directly around Essex, England, by 1998 the name had spread to other regions in England namely Cornwall, Devon and Yorkshire, however, the largest cluster was still found in Essex and surrounding counties.  There were no significant numbers found in Scotland or Wales.

Worldwide the distribution of the name Guiver is high within the UK; below medium in USA, Canada, Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

The variants of Guiver have a lot lower distibution around the world: Gyver is most common within the UK; Guyver is also most common within the UK, followed by the USA; and Quiver is most common in USA, followed by Argentina. 


I am in the very early stages of my study, up until recently only looking at my own ancestors from my family history research.  My focus has now moved to collecting data for the surname Guiver and variants and trying to find other family groups.

England and Wales

  1. Compiled an excel spreadsheet of the index of births for Guiver and variants from and am currently adding data from other family history websites.
  2. Compiled an excel spreadsheet of the index of marriages for Guiver and variants from and am currently adding data from other family history websites.
  3. Compiled an excel spreadsheet of the index of Deaths for Guiver and variants from and am currently adding data from other family history websites.
  4. Compiled an Excel spreadsheet of data from the War Graves Commission website for an Index to War Dead for Guiver and variants, to be updated by adding data from additional websites.
  5. Compiled statistical data regarding the instances of Guiver and variants in the UK and Wales Censuses from 1841-1911.