Who are the Sandavers? Almost certainly they were originally from a now 'lost' medieval village originally called Sandeover, (The place over the Sands) and almost certainly from the Northern part of England. This however is an estimation, the make up of the name has a certain style found in such names as Peover in Derbyshire and Sandhoe in Northumberland. At least five thousand English surnames are known to have developed from now lost sites, a factor which encourages the formation of variant spelling forms.In this case the development of the surname would seem to be quite straight forward from the 16th century Sandover through Sandiver and Sandeover to the apparently 19th century Sandaver. The curious thing is that we seem to be able to plot the last name change, which would seem to be quite deliberate. This occured on July 27th 1800, when George and Hannah Sandaver were witnesses at the christening of their daughter Mary Ann at St Ann's Church, Westminster. Previously the same couple were registered at St Andrews Church, Holborn, but under the spelling of Sandeover, a specific date being September 17th 1797.What is clear is that there was a move from the East End of London to the West, perhaps this prompted the name change? The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Sandeover, which was dated July 13th 1572, a witness at the church of St Mary Abbotts, Kensington, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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