- This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called Calveley in Cheshire, north west of Crewe. The placename is recorded as "Calueleg" in the Chartulary of the Abbey of St. Werburgh, Chester, in circa 1235, and as "Calveleye" in the County Court, City Court and Eyre Rolls of Chester of 1287. The name means "pasture for calves", derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "calf, cealf", calf, with "leah", in the specialized meaning of meadow, pasture-land; the usual sense is an open place in a wood, a glade. In some instances, the surname Calveley may be a variant form of the name Calverley, which derives from a place so called in Yorkshire, or from Calverleigh in Devonshire. A notable bearer of the name was Sir Hugh de Calveley (deceased 1393), who commanded the "free-lances" in the war with Brittany, 1341 - 1364, and joined the Black Prince in 1367; after a long and distinguished career he founded a college at Bunbury in Cheshire, in 1385. Recordings of the name from Cheshire Church Registers include the marriage of Roger Calveley and Margrett Lowe, on September 26th 1619, at Prestbury. A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts a red fesse between three black calves on a silver shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Christiana de Kalverle, which was dated 1216, in the "Northumberland Book of Fees", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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.
Surnames reference. 2013.