NOTES ON SURNAMES (HULL) 58
SPAVEN, SPAVIN Assuming that these are two spellings of the same name I combine references.
William Spaven was a tenant in Normanby, North Yorkshire (near Malton), 1546
Thomas Spaven (carter?) in the Beverley Borough Records 1669-1681
Edward Spavin and family assessed for tax, Hull, 1695
Robert Spaven married Ann Simpson at Holy Trinity, Hull, 1840
John Spavin married Jane Mennell at Middleton, East Yorkshire, 1848.
Robert Spavin, builder, Paragon Street, Hull, 1867
With regard to the surname in the Malton area (see above 1546),
a monumental inscription to James Spavin, d.1708 is in St. Helen’s church, Amotherby, near Malton, and
Robert Spavin resided in Malton, 1823.
Some thoughts on possible meanings; the Dialect Dictionary has the following:
“Spavin (spa:vin) – Yorks – a bed of clay on which a coal seam rests. W. Yorks, hard spavin or underclay.”
“Spavin (spævin) – Surrey/Hampshire – a ‘spasm'”
Neither dialect word seems likely for the meaning of the surname.
In addition we have the standard English word Spavin, denoting a deformity or swelling on a horse’s hock. Could the surname refer to a disabling or inhibiting physical problem in an individual, leading to the nickname Spavin?