This surname, of Anglo-Saxon origin, is a locational name from Congrave in Staffordshire, which derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "cumb" meaning short valley, plus "groefe" grove, brushwood, thicket. The placename is recorded as "Comegrave" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Cumgrave" in the Feet of Fines of 1236. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century (see below). Early recordings include Robert Cungreve (1381) in the Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire, and Thomas Congreve (1466 in the Feet of Fines of Essex. Church Records include the marriages of Thomas Congreve to Elizabeth Fowlee on April 30th 1576 at Brewood, Staffordshire, and George Congrave to Abygall Somers on May 3rd 1607 at St. Peter's, Paul's Wharf, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is black, a chevron between three silver battle-axes. The Crest is a falcon with wings expanded proper. The Motto "non moritue cujus fama vivit" translates as "he dies not whose fame survives". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alan de Cungrave, which was dated 1203, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire", during the reign of King John, known as "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.