This interesting surname is of English locational origin from "Cavil(le)" in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The placename is recorded as "Cafeld" in the Early Yorkshire Charters (959) and later as "Cheuede" in the Domesday Book of 1086. The component elements are the Old English pre 7th Century "ca" meaning jackdaw plus "feld" a pasture or open country; hence "pasture frequented by "jackdaws". The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 12th Century, (see below). One, Robert de Cavilla, appears in the Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire (1273).In the modern idiom the surname may also be found with variant spellings Cavil, Cavel, Cavell, Cavle, etc.. On April 23rd 1582, John Cavill and Grisill Garraway were married at St. Peter-le-Poer, London. Richard, son of Richard Cavill, was christened on September 8th 1591, at St. Bride Fleet Street, London. On October 18th 1621, William, son of Thomas and Mary Cavill, was christened at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. A coat of arms granted to the Cavill family depicts a red engrailed fess with a flower of the lily on each end, on a silver shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Kauill, which was dated 1190, Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 1, "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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