'Avis' appears only a few times in my family tree, and the first time I encountered it I felt it to be a very strange name indeed. This is how it appears:
My 6th great grandmother (maternal) is called Avis - maiden name yet to be determined. She married James STIDSTONE and had at least three children, one of whom she named Elizabeth.
Elizabeth STIDSTONE, christened 13 July 1752 in South Milton, Devon, grew up to marry a man called Hugh HARDEY - and she named one of her daughters 'Elizabeth-Avis' and christened her on 14 June 1789 in Thurlestone, Devon..
When 'Elizabeth-Avis' grew up, she married George STUMBLES - and named one of her daughters 'Avis'.
At least this makes it comfortably easy to follow the family, with such an unusual name!
"The first known form of the name was "Haduwig" (whence modern German "Hedwig"), meaning "refuge in war"; the French form was softened to "Edwige", and in the Norman dialect it became "Havoise". By degrees this was shortened to "Havoisia", "Avicia", "Avice", and finally "Avis". In its variant forms it is frequently found in medieval records, but nowadays only the forms "Avis" and, less commonly "Avice" are found. "Auicia" (without surname) is noted in the Register of St. Benet of Holme, Norfolk (1175), and Ricardus filius (son of) Avice is listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire (1332)." [surnamedb.com]
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