Recorded as Daffern, Dafforn, Daffarne, Dafferne, Duffan, Duffin, and no doubt others, this is an English and possibly sometimes Irish, surname, but in both cases is ultimately Norse-Viking. It is believed to have its origins in an pre 7th century personal name "Dolgfinnr", said to be a popular name in Northern England and Ireland in the 10th century, both areas of heavy Scandanavian settlement. If so the name was composed of the elements 'dolgr', meaning to wound or scar and 'finnr', meaning 'white, and was probably given originally given to a chief or prominent warrior, one who carried such a livid scar. A second possibility is from the Gaelic and Olde English word 'dubh' meaning black, and given as a nickname to a person with dark hair and features. It is said that the surname development over the centuries has included William Duffin of Huntingdonshire in 1279, in the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154 - 1189, and later Elizabeth Dafforne christened at St Lawrence Jewry in the city of London, on January 6th 1639, and later still Alfred Daffern, christened at the famous church of St Mary-le-Bone, on April 23rd 1824. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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