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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The ancestry of the name Cavy dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived 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 Cavy 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.

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The surname Cavy 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." [1]

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Cavy have been found, including Cave, Cayve, Caive, Caves, Caives, Cayves, Cavey, Cavie, Cavy and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cavy research. Another 225 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1655, 1703, 1679, 1680, 1685, 1690, 1681, 1719, 1705, 1637 and 1713 are included under the topic Early Cavy History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 123 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cavy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Cavy, or a variant listed above: was the branch which settled in Virginia in the year 1640. The history of this branch of the family name is found in Hayden's Virginia Genealogies; Joe Cave settled in St. Christopher in 1635.

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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.

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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  2. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  3. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  4. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  5. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  11. ...

The Cavy Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cavy 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 18 February 2016 at 14:44.

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