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Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English and Scottish: from Middle English raven, used as a nickname for a thievish or dark-haired person. In some cases it may be from a personal name derived from this word, a survival into Middle English of the Old Norse byname Hrafn or of an Old English cognate name (Hræfn). A few early forms such as William atte Raven (London 1344) suggest that it may also in part be derived from a house sign.
  2. North German: from Middle Low German rave(n) ‘raven’, a nickname or an old personal name. Compare 1 above.
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