Show ContentsPevay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The proud Norman name of Pevay was developed in England soon after Norman Conquest of England in 1066. It was name for a friend, and is a somewhat nondescript form of affectionate address, somewhat like pal or mate in modern English. The name translates from the Old French root belfiz of the same meaning. The modern French meaning of the word as son in law was not in place until 1468.

Other sources claim that the name is a local surname from Beauvais in France. and there, we found that "Duke Richard II. in 1027, confirmed the gift of Ansgot de Belvai of land at Belvai to Fescamp Abbey. Fescamp (Fécamp) Abbey is a Benedictine abbey in Fécamp, Seine-Maritime, Upper Normandy, France. [1] [2] Founded in 658 by Waningus, a Merovingian count, the abbey still stands today.

As to agree with this postulation, another source weighs in on the debate by simply stating "The town of Beauvais, in France, is however a more likely source for the surname." [3] This author continues "Sir Bevys of medieval romance seems to have no place in veritable history, though Heylin claims him as a real Earl of Southampton. The first instance of the surname that I can call to mind is in Sir John Bevis, or Befs, who took Richard, brother of King Henry III., prisoner in a windmill at the battle of Lewes, in 1264. " [3]

Early Origins of the Pevay family

The surname Pevay was first found in Hampshire, where they were granted lands by King William after the Norman Conquest in 1066. They were descended from the Beauvais in Normandy, and appear on the honor roll of Battell Abbey, as accompanying Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Pevay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pevay research. Another 36 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1254, 1693, 1771, 1731, 1693, 1715 and 1718 are included under the topic Early Pevay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pevay Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Pevay have been found, including Bevis, Bevys, Beavis, Beavys and others.

Early Notables of the Pevay family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Bevis of Hampshire; and John Bevis (1693-1771), an Welsh doctor and astronomer, best known for discovering the Crab Nebula in 1731. "Born 31 Oct. 1693...
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pevay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Pevay family

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Pevay were among those contributors: Benjamin Bevis who settled in Maryland in 1663; David Bevis settled in New England in 1698; Elizabeth Bevis settled in Virginia in 1654; Carol Bevois (Bevvis) settled in New Netherlands in 1659. This family were registered as a distinguished family in the U.S.A..

  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. Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  3. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print. on Facebook