This interesting name has two possible origins, the first being as a short or pet form of the personal name "David", which was a popular given name in England, Scotland and Wales during the Middle Ages. The name was adopted from the Hebrew male given name "David", meaning "Beloved", and its popularity was due in part to the fame of the biblical king of the name, and to its being the name of the patron saint of Wales, and of two kings of Scotland: David 1, who reigned from 1124 - 1153, and David 11, 1329 - 1371. In England the personal name is recorded in 1150 in Lincolnshire as "Dauid clericus", and as "Davit" in 1278, in Cambridgeshire. The second possible origin for the modern surname spellings of Day, Daye, Dey, Deye, or the unusual D'Eye, is the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Daei", in Middle English "Day(e)" or "Dey(e)", from the 'daeg', meaning 'day'. It may also be a short form of the compound personal names such as "Daegberht" and "Daegmund", translating as "day-bright" and "day-protection". The surname development includes: Aluric Dai (1196, Berkshire), and Ralph Deie (1211, Leicestershire), and Arthur de Yes, recorded at the church of St Gregory's by St Pauls, London, on December 16th 1619. Richard Day was an early emigrant to America, leaving London on the "Plaine Joan" in May 1635, bound for Virginia. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godina Daia, which was dated 1095, in the "Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds", Suffolk, during the reign of King William 11, known as "Rufus", 1087 - 1100. 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.
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