This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo - Saxon origin, and derives from a personal name, 'Aelfwig', recorded in 1095 in Suffolk as 'Aelfwig', recorded in 1095 in Suffolk as 'Aelfwi' and in 1212 in Berkshire as 'Alfwy'. The given name is composed of the elements 'aelf', meaning 'elf', and 'wig', meaning 'war, battle'. As a surname the name is first recorded at the beginning of the 13th Century, (see below). The surname development has included Thomas Alfy (1279, Cambridgeshire), Simon Elphey (1279, Durham), and Adam Alfwy (1296, Sussex). The modern surname can be found as 'Alvy', 'Alvey', 'Allvey', 'Elvey', Elvy', and 'Elphee'. Richard Alvey (deceased 1584), was appointed Master of the Temple in 1560, and was Canon of Westminster from 1560 - 1575. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Alvi, which was dated 1212, The Oxfordshire Curia Rolls, during the reign of King John, 'Lackland', 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.