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The Cavers family



A sept of the Douglas family

I have no details on this sept yet, so any contributions will be warmly welcomed.


My supposition is that they are based on or in Cavers, Roxburghshire.

Very occasionally in historical records the Cavers surname appears in other forms such as Cavirs, Kavirs, Kavers, but this is extremely unusual and tends to occur before 1700. The LDS 1881 census transcripts include a number of mistranscriptions of Cavers as Covers. I have not so far encountered any Cavers people recorded as Caver, i.e. without the s at the end. The pronunciation is quite distinct (pronounced as in potholers!) so the 's' is unlikely to be missed out. Mis-spelling is particularly unlikely in the home area of the surname, the Scottish Borders, given that Cavers is a well-known place-name there.

The Cavers surname appears to originate from the parish of Cavers near Hawick. George F. Black in his Surnames of Scotland book (published in New York in 1946) gives the origin for the surname as 'From Cavers in the parish of Bowden, Roxburghshire'. However this does not fit with the findings of my research. There is a place name called Cavers Carre in Bowden parish but the early entries to the surname trace back consistently to the other Cavers, the parish near Hawick. Black may have been unaware of this more significant Cavers place-name. The word Cavers comes from Old English and means an enclosure. This means that there could be other places of the name in Scotland and even England, but the evidence that I've examined indicates strongly that the surname traces back in time to Cavers near Hawick.

In 1881 Britain nearly a third of the Cavers people were living in Roxburghshire with significant numbers in surrounding Border counties. Clusters of Cavers people in 1881 Nottingham and Luton can be traced back to their Scottish origins. A cluster in 1881 London can also be traced back to a single ancestor William Cavers born circa 1790, possibly of Scottish descent. By this time significant numbers of Cavers people had emigrated to Canada, particularly Ontario, with emigration also to the United States of America, Australia, and New Zealand.


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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024