This unusual name derives from the Olde French adjective "grave" meaning "serious" or "thoughtful" and was originally given as a nickname to someone with a rather grave countenance. The surname is first recorded in England toward the end of the 17th Century, (see below). On September 14th ,1713 Phylip Legrave, son of Phylip and Mary Legrave, was christened at st. Dunstans, Stepney and on October 9th 1797, Samuel Legrave, son of Samuel and Ann Legrave was christened at St. Sepulchre, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Le(a)grave married Ann Richardson. which was dated April 7th 1695 at St. Mary's, Marylebone Road, London. during the reign of King William III, William of Orange and England 1680 - 1702. 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.