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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Carver family come from? What is the English Carver family crest and coat of arms? When did the Carver family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Carver family history?

The many generations and branches of the Carver family can all place the origins of their surname with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name reveals that an early member worked as a wood-carver or sculptor. The former occupation was more common than the latter. Chaucer describes a wood-carver in the late 13th century "Knight's Tale", writing, "Ne purteyour, ne kerver of images." The surname Carver is derived from the Old English word ceorfan, which means to cut or to carve. However, the surname Carver may also be derived from the occupation of a ploughman. In this case, the surname Carver is derived from the Old French words charuier and caruier, which both mean ploughman.

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Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Carver were recorded, including Carver, Carvere, Carvar, Carever, Carber and others.

First found in Norfolk where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Carver research. Another 273 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1203, 1275, 1290, 1505, 1576, 1621, 1710, and 1780 are included under the topic Early Carver History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 61 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Carver Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Carver family emigrate to North America:

Carver Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Carver arrived in Plymouth in 1620 with wife and servant, on the "Mayflower" (they would become one of the distinguished families of the US), their history can be found in Burke's
  • Catharine Carver, who arrived in America in 1620
  • Catherine Carver, who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620
  • Grace Carver settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1637
  • Richard Carver, who had sailed from Yarmouth in England in 1637 who had lived at Scratby, in Norfolk, in England. He settled in Watertown in Massachusetts


Carver Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Ralph Carver, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Nicholas Carver, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1729
  • Jacob Carver, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1760

Carver Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Agner Carver, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • Agnes Carver, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Michl Carver, aged 40, landed in America in 1822
  • Patrick Carver, who arrived in Texas in 1835
  • James Carver, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1873

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  • George Washington Carver (1864-1943), American botanist and inventor
  • Jeffrey Carver (b. 1949), American science fiction author
  • Raymond Carver (1938-1988), American short story writer and poet
  • Jesse Carver (b. 1911), English football player and club manager
  • Field Marshal Richard Michael Power Carver GCB, CBE, DSO & Bar, MC (1915-2001), Baron Carver, Chief of the Defence Staff of the United Kingdom
  • Mr. Alfred John Carver (d. 1912), aged 28, English Third Class passenger from Southampton, Hampshire who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Robert Carver (b. 1974), British sailing world champion
  • Robert Carver (1490-1567), Scottish Renaissance monk and composer of Christian sacred music


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  • Carver Family, 1769-1977 by John Bradley Arthaud.
  • Genealogy of the Rev. Eleazer Carver Family by Fred E. and Margaret R. Carver.
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  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  7. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  8. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  10. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  11. ...

The Carver Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Carver Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 14 February 2014 at 09:48.

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