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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.
Gyver, Guyver and Quiver
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.
History 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.
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.