Selven History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The history of the Selven family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Nottingham, at the manor of Silvan.
The patriarch of the line "Joceus le Flamangh," who came to England at the Conquest, held the third part of a knight's fee in Cukeney in Nottinghamshire, and two ploughlands of the King "by the service of shoeing the King's palfrey on all four feet, with the King's nails, as oft as he should lie at his manor of Mansfield; and if he lame the King's palfrey, or prick him, or shoe him too strait, he shall forfeit to the King a palfrey worth four marks." His grandson Thomas built a castle at Cukeney during the war between Stephen and the Empress Maud, " when," says Surtees, "almost every landed gentleman in England turned his house into a peel or castlelet : "and after the peace, in Henry II.'s time, founded Welbeck Abbey. His only child was a daughter : but his brother, Ralph le Silvan, of Woodhouse, carried on the line, and was the father of Osbert Silvan, Sheriff of Notts in 1140. "His descendants held the manor of Woodhouse, in the Forest of Sherwood, at least as late as 1330, but were more frequently styled of Thorp-Salvin,* a small parish on the extreme Southern border of Yorkshire. 
*"The Salvins must have been settled at Thorpe-Salvin soon after the Conquest, and as they appear to have been a family of distinction, it is probable that the ancestor might be one of the two knights of De Busli mentioned in the Domesday Survey of Laughton." 
Early Origins of the Selven family
The surname Selven was first found in Nottingham where the family name is descended from a Norman noble Joceus le Flemangh who accompanied William the Conqueror into England and was granted part of a knight's fee at Cuckney in that shire.
Sir Gerard Salveyn (d. 1320), was an English judge, son of Robert Salveyn of North Driffield, Yorkshire. "The family claimed descent from Joce le Flemangh, who came over with the Conqueror and settled at Cukeney, Nottinghamshire, and whose grandson Ralph obtained the surname Le Silvan from his manor of Woodhouse." 
From this latter place, the Cuckeney variant hails. Another source notes, "Sir Osbert Silvayne, Knight of Norton Woodhouse, in the Forest of Sherwood, living in the 29th of Henry III"  is also claimed to be the progenitor of the family. The latter reference acknowledges the incongruity by noting that "some of the name ... were seated at Norton before the year 1140."  So, we must leave the true progenitor in question.
Thorpe-Salvin in the West Riding of Yorkshire was home to a branch of the family. "This place is situated at the junction of the counties of York, Derby, and Nottingham. It was anciently the property of the Salvin family, and subsequently of the Sandfords." 
Early History of the Selven family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Selven research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1348 and 1716 are included under the topic Early Selven History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Selven 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 Salvin, de Salvin, Salwin, Silvan, Silvayne, Salvayne, Salvyn, Cuckney, Cucknay, Cukney and many more.
Early Notables of the Selven family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Selven Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Selven family
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 Selven name or one of its variants: George Salvin who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1846; Henry Cucknay who settled in Virginia in 1639.
Related Stories +
The Selven 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: Je ne change qu'en mourant
Motto Translation: I only change in death.
- ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.