Show ContentsCaves History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Caves comes from the family having resided in the settlement named Cave in the East Riding of Yorkshire; this area has become the county of Humberside in modern times. The name of this settlement is derived from the name of a nearby river, which in turn derived its name from the Old English word caf, which means swift. The surname Caves may also be a variation of the Anglo-Norman name Chaff, a nickname for a bald man. The derivation is from the Old French word chauf, which means bald.

In this latter case, the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae listed "Adelina de Cava, and John Cave of Normandy, 1180-95. Wyomar had a grant of Cave, Yorkshire, c. 1090, from Alan, Earl of Richmond and Margaret de Cave and Richard de Cave held from the Church of York c. 1140. The occurrence of the name in Normandy shows the origin of the family, though its name was derived from England." [1]

Early Origins of the Caves family

The surname Caves was first found in Lancashire, Yorkshire and Northamptonshire. Stanford in Northamptonshire has a most interesting story about the family.

"Shortly after the Conquest, Guy de Reinbudcurt, one of the Norman companions of William, sold the lordship to Benedict, abbot of the Benedictine monastery of Selby, in Yorkshire. In 1471, John Cave died [as] vicar of Stanford, having, probably, been presented to the living by his brother, then abbot of Selby. After the Dissolution, the manor and advowson were granted by Henry VIII., for the sum of £1194. 3. 4., to Thomas Cave, Esq. The old manor-house of Stanford Hall was situated on the left bank of the Avon in this county; about 1680 it was pulled down by Sir Roger Cave, and a new building was commenced on the right bank, in the county of Leicester, which was completed in 1737. In the church is a series of monuments of the Caves, knights and baronets, commencing in 1558, and all in excellent preservation." [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: Roger de Cave in Lincolnshire; and Robert de Cave in Buckinghamshire. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Willelmus del Cave as living there and holding lands at that time. [3]

Early History of the Caves family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Caves research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1568, 1655, 1703, 1679, 1680, 1685, 1690, 1681, 1719, 1705, 1637, 1713, 1637, 1657, 1691, 1754 and 1691 are included under the topic Early Caves History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Caves Spelling Variations

Caves has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Cave, Cayve, Caive, Caves, Caives, Cayves, Cavey, Cavie, Cavy and many more.

Early Notables of the Caves family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Ambrose Cave (d. 1568), Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, fourth son of Roger Cave of Stanford, Northamptonshire; Sir Thomas Cave, 1st Baronet; and his son, Sir Roger Cave, 2nd Baronet (1655-1703), an English politician, High Sheriff of Northamptonshire (1679-1680) and Member of Parliament for Coventry (1685-1690); and his son, Sir Thomas Cave, 3rd Baronet DL (1681-1719), a British Tory politician, Deputy Lieutenant of Northamptonshire in 1705; and William Cave (1637-1713), an English divine and patristic scholar, born in 1637 at Pickwell in Leicestershire, of...
Another 93 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Caves Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Caves Ranking

In the United States, the name Caves is the 18,773rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]

United States Caves migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Cavess to arrive on North American shores:

Caves Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mandolin Caves, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [5]
  • Mandlin Caves, who landed in Virginia in 1638 [5]
  • Maudelin Caves, who arrived in Virginia in 1638 [5]
  • Mandelin Caves, who arrived in Virginia in 1638 [5]
  • Edward Caves, who landed in Virginia in 1652 [5]

New Zealand Caves migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Caves Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Caves, aged 18, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hudson" in 1879

The Caves Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Cave Deus videt
Motto Translation: Beware! God sees.

  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook