This very interesting surname, of East Anglian origins, is almost certainly Flemish in the final analysis. It is believed to derive from Scholverd or Scholaert, from Alsace-Lorraine, now found in France. The name describes the son of either a farmer or one who lived on a small hill. It is, however, also possible that the name is a transposition of the Anglo-Saxon Schavel(er), an occupational name for one who dug drainage ditches. This would be particularly appropriate for East Anglia, where Dutch engineers were imported from the 14th Century onwards, to drain the fens.However, any "foreign" influence is very remote, as every recording since the earliest shown below are always preceded by totally English Christian names. The early recordings include the following examples, the epicentre of the name being Bedfield, Little Saxham and Kentonk (Suffolk): Anne Shulver, who married John Hearne at Mistley, Essex, on July 7th 1607; Ralph Shulver, a witness at Walsham-le-Willows, Suffolk, on May 20th 1617; and Elizabeth Shulver, who married William Cole at Burgh, Suffolk, on February 19th 1765. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Sholver, which was dated June 4th 1574, a christening witness at Bardwell, Suffolk, 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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