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TRAVIS Family History

Recorded in several spelling forms including Travers, Traves, Travis and Traviss, this is an English medieval surname, but of French origins. Probably introduced into England after the 1066 Norman-French Invasion, it derives from either of the two French male and female nouns "travers" and "traverse", meaning "to cross". The literal meaning was to cross a particular point such as the gate of a city, or a ford, where a toll or tax might be charged. In effect the surname describes one who collected the money at such a crossing point. The late Professor Reaney reported that "in 1285 the Bishop of Norwich claimed that he and his predecessors were accustomed to take "travers" at South Elmham, in Suffolk"...

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