D is for: A Genealogy Study

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I don’t know if you’re having fun with these posts, but I surely am. Do let me know if our ancestry surnames ever cross, and if you have any interesting tidbits about the last names of your ancestors!

As always, the surname information comes from surnames database and various places online. As a note, I’ve realized that names such as ‘D’Aunou’ should be in the ‘A’ bracket rather than the ‘D’ (mostly because I have so many ‘de’ names) so I’ll do a reparations post next time with the ‘de’ names for ‘A, B, and C’.

See the previous letters: A, B, C.

D’Aunou: Habitational name for someone from Aunou in Orne, Normandy (French d’Aunou), which is named with Old French aunaie ‘alder grove’.

D’estouteville: This surname reached English shores for the first time following the migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They settled mostly in Cumberland and were described as men of great power, warlike habits, and possessors of a vast territory. Also known as the ‘Stutevilles’

D’Evereux/ Devereux:  This interesting surname is of Norman origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066, and is a locational name from “Evreux” in Eure, Normandy. The place is so called from having apparently been the capital of the “Eburovices”, a Gaulish tribe. This tribal name appears, in turn, to derive from the river name “Ebura” (now the Eure), which may perhaps be akin to a Celtic word for the yew tree.  A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a shield divided per fesse blue and black, on a silver fesse indented between three silver cinquefoils, three black storks’ heads erased, the Crest being upon a broken battlement proper a black stork resting the dexter foot upon a gold cinquefoil.

Darcy: This famous surname recorded in many forms including Arcy, d’Arcy, d’Arcey, Darcy, Darcey, Dorcey, Dorcy, Dorsey, D’orsay, Orsay, and Orsi, is usually of French locational origins, although Irish names may have a different root. The French forms originate from either the village of Arcy in La Manche, named from the Gallic “ars”, meaning the bear, and the suffix “-acum”, meaning a settlement, or from Orsai village in Seine et Orne. This is a derivative from the Latin personal name “Orcius”. In Ireland the surname is of dual derivation, being either Norman-French as above, and originally followers of Strongbow, earl of Pembroke, who invaded Ireland in 1169, or as an anglicized form of the native Gaelic “O’Dorchaidhe”, meaning a descendant of the dark one.

Davidson: This interesting Anglo-Scottish surname is a patronymic from the male Hebrew given name David. This crusader name meaning beloved of god was borne by the greatest of the early Kings of Israel, which led to its popularity first among Jews and later among the Christians throughout Europe in the Middle Ages.

Davies/ Davis: Recorded in the spellings of Davis, Davies, Davie, and several others, this is an English patronymic surname, although much associated with Wales. It means ‘the son of David’, from the Hebrew male given name meaning “beloved”.

Dekker: This is an international occupational surname. It can be said to originate from the Old High German (pre 7th century) word ‘decken’ meaning a covering, and as such in its true original form described a thatcher or roofer, or possibly a manufacturer of blankets and matting. In modern German the word ‘decke’ has the twin meaning of either a ceiling or a blanket according to the sense in which it is used.

Douglas: This noble and distinguished surname is of Scottish territorial origin from the lands of Douglas, south of Glasgow, in Lanarkshire, situated on the Douglas Water. These waters were so named from the Old Gaelic “dubh”, dark or black, plus “glas”, a rivulet or stream. The original stronghold of the Douglas family and their retainers lay in this area, and the Douglases were described by the historian Lang as “the great, turbulent, daring, and too often treacherous house”. Coat of Arms granted to the Douglas Ancestry is a silver shield with a red man’s heart, on a blue chief three silver stars.

Drury/DrewerieThis unusual and interesting name has its origins in the Norman English and Old French word “druerie”, meaning love, or friendship, and is an example of the medieval practice of creating a surname from a nickname. By the 12th Century or so, “druerie” was also used in the concrete sense of a “love token” or “affair”, or “sweetheart”.

Dunbar: This famous Scottish locational name derives from the Barony of Dunbar in the county of Berwick. Research indicates that the surname in its recognizable form was not apparently recorded until the 13th century. The coat of arms has the distinctive blazon of a white lion rampant on a red field, on a white bordure, a semee of red roses. The crest is a horses head.

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