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Surname Cheever - Meaning and Origin

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Cheever: What does the surname Cheever mean?

The last name Cheever originated from an old French word “chiever”, which means “cheese dealer” or “cheesemonger.” Historically, Cheever was a surname for people who used to make or sell cheese. The surname was introduced in France, and came to England when the Normans invaded in 1066.

The first known spelling of the name was Cever or Cevere, found as early as 1303 in the Pipe Rolls of Berkshire. The spelling changed over time, and from the 17th century onwards it became more common as Cheevers, Chevers or Chever. Later it stayed as Cheever, a variation of the original spelling.

The Cheever surname is also found as a habitational name, derived from the town of Chievres in Flanders. This French town appeared in manuscripts dating back to 1290 as Chierve.

Overall, the origin of the Cheever last name reflects the traditional role of the cheesemonger in commerce, while the habitational origin of the name reflects the influence of different cultures in the evolving history of the surname. Records continue to prove the evolution of this noble name, and today the Cheevers are an established and respected family name.

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Cheever: Where does the name Cheever come from?

The surname Cheever is primarily found in the United States of America today. According to the US Census Bureau, the surname is the 4,051st most common last name in the United States. This places it among the top five percent of surnames in the country. The most common states in which the surname is found are Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire. Cheever is especially popular in Essex County, Massachusetts, which was once largely populated by the Cheever family through their ancestral lands. It is also a relatively common surname in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

The surname likely derived from the Norman French words chaufer, chevier, chevion, and chaufrein, all of which mean storm or heat. The earliest known bearer of this name is recorded in England as John Chefre in 1332.

Cheever is usually considered an English or Americanized surname, though some of the earliest settlers of the United States with the last name were of French-Canadian background or Dutch origin. Many people of English and Dutch descent trace their roots to Cheever as well.

The surname Cheever is still fairly common in the United States today, particularly in New England, though outside of the US, it is quite uncommon.

Variations of the surname Cheever

The surname Cheever is most commonly spelled as Cheever variant spellings include: Cheevers, Cheaves, Cheves, Ceaver, Chever, Chiver, Cheavers, Cheviers, Ceevers, Cheverall, Chevar, Chevais, Chevarill, Chevoir, Cheverel, Cheverell, Chavere, Chivers, Cheverill, Chevres, Chevrey, Chavare, Chaverel, Chauviere, Chevel, and Chevier.

Cheever is a French surname of Norman origin. It was originally derived from the Old French word, Eschiver, meaning a person who was skilled in making courts of law and leading a court. The surname was first found in Normandy and migrated to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The earliest records of the surname date back to 1202 when William le Chivere was recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex.

The Cheever surname is also found in Ireland, where the name is most likely an Anglicized form of the Gaelic surname Ó Ciobháin, which was originally derived from the Gaelic word, cobha, meaning "sorrowful". This branch of the family probably originated in County Westmeath. Today it is also found in County Limerick and Dublin.

The spelling of the Cheever surname has changed throughout the years, and many variants and spellings of the surname exist. It is important to note that there is no one correct spelling of the surname, and that any of the variants could be a valid spelling.

Famous people with the name Cheever

  • John Cheever: Known for his short stories and novels depicting the “silent" anguish of the upper-middle-class American suburban existence in the post-WWII era.
  • Benjamin Cheever: An American novelist and journalist, son of John Cheever.
  • Susan Cheever: daughter of John Cheever, an author and biographer.
  • Esther Forbes: Pulitzer Prize-winning author, daughter of Edward Waldo Forbes and Amelia Clarke Cheever Forbes.
  • Edward Augustus Cheever: 19th-century American portrait painter.
  • Noah Cheever: 17th-century Puritan minister and author.
  • George Winthrop Cheever: 19th-century American clergyman and author. 8.Elizabeth Pierce Cheever: 19th-century American religious writer and lecturer.
  • Henry Whitman Cheever: 19th-century American travel writer and geologist.
  • Herman Melville Cheever: 19th-century naturalist.
  • Dennison Lafayette Cheever: 19th-century American Unitarian minister, librarian, poet, and hymn writer.
  • Arthur Frederick Cheever: 19th-century American physician and early advocate of the ice age theory.
  • Frank Cheever: 20th-century American Unitarian minister and author.
  • Henry Cheever Pratt: 20th-century American academic and mathematician.
  • Roger Cheever: 20th-century American poet, son of Benjamin Cheever.
  • Rebecca Cheever: 20th-century US sailor and Olympic medalist.
  • John Cheever Davis: 20th-century American chemist and inventor.
  • Ballard Cheever: 20th-century American evangelist.
  • Henry Cheever: 20th-century American actor.
  • Priscilla Cheever: contemporary award-winning mystery novelist.

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