This interesting surname is of English locational origin from a place thus called in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The placename is recorded in the Domesday book of 1086, as "Dacre" and gets its name from the river on which it stands. The name derives from the Welsh "deigr", Old breton "dacr" meaning tear and would refer to a "trickling stream". The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century, (see below). One, Ranulph de Dacre, appears in the records of Norfolk (1292). Other recordings of the surname from the Yorkshire church registers include; the marriage of Randolf Dacre to Eleanor Fitzhugh which took place in 1436, in Ravensworth; on November 23rd 1574, Johanna Dacre married Johes Randall at Farnham; and Thomas Dacre married Margareta Dearlove on November 11th 1576, in the same place. A coat of arms granted to the Dacre family of Cumberland and Westmoreland depicts three gold escallops on a red shield. On the crest there is a tiger's head emerging from a ducal coronet and chained proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Dakyr, which was dated 1278, sheriff of Cumberland, during the reign of King Edward 1, "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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