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REEVE Family History

This unusual and interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational name for a steward or bailiff, the precise character of whose duties varied from place to place and at different periods. It derives from the Middle English "reeve", a development of the Olde English pre 7th Century "(ge)refa", meaning reeve (steward, bailiff). Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century (see below), and early recordings include: Sampson le Reve (1273) in the Hundred Rolls of Suffolk, and James le Reve (1281) in the Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London.

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