From the "LIST OF YE REGUGEES" dated 2 Aug. 1700 we notice the following names.Notice the spellings.
Isaac Chabanas, sou fils,, et Catharine Bomard
Henry Cabanis, sa femme et un enfant
The above persons were aboard the ship "MARY AND ANN" which arrived in Virginia in 1700.The passanger list is dated 19 April 1700, the ship cast anchor in the James River near Richmond, VA on 23 July 1700.This list is available via the internet.
The above two individuals and their families appear to be the earliest recorded members of the Cabanis or Caviness to arrive in this country.
Researchers such as Alloa Caviness Anderson and Dr. Allen Cabaniss (history professor, Univ. of Mississippi) have noted the above spellings and others.
I have noticed that the vowels are often changed and even amonb brothers and sisters.For example a sister used the Caviness spelling while her brother used the Caveness spelling.
Genealogy research by Dr. Allen Cabaniss generally follows the Cabanis(s) or "v" spelling whlle that of Alloa Caviness Anderson generally follows the "b" spelling.
Understand that most people in the early days of record keeping could not read, write or spell.Those that could might be of German or other background and wrote names as they sounded.
The name has been found spelled in as many ways as the vowels (a, e, i, o, u and sometimes Y) can be manipulated.
Every surname I have seen has such spelling variations which occur within the same direct lines.