The distinguished surname Nephew was first brought to England
in the wake of the Norman Conquest
of 1066. It is derived from the Old French "neveu," meaning "nephew," and was most likely first borne by an orphan who was brought up in the care of his uncle. Alternatively, it may have been used as a euphemism to refer to the illegitimate son of a medieval prelate.
Early Origins of the Nephew family
The surname Nephew was first found in Kent
, where the family held estates. After the Norman Conquest
of 1066, Duke William the Conquerer granted lands to the many Norman barons under his rule; the Nephew family is thought to be descended from one or several of these barons. The first known bearer of the name was Robert le Neve, who was living in Kent
Early History of the Nephew family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nephew research.Another 261 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1242, 1268, 1250, 1274, 1579, 1654, 1650, 1661, 1729 and 1704 are included under the topic Early Nephew History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Nephew Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations
. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Neve, Neave, Neaves, Neeve, Neeves, Nephew, Neveu and others.
Early Notables of the Nephew family (pre 1700)
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nephew Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Nephew family to the New World and Oceana
Because of the political and religious discontent in England
, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Nephew name or one of its variants: Mary Neve, who settled in Maryland in 1662; Samuel Neve, who immigrated to Barbados in 1682; Timothy Neve, who came to Annapolis, Maryland in 1746; George Neve, who emigrated from Kent
to New York in 1828 with his wife and their six children.