This uncommon surname, recorded in Church Registers of France and Germany under the variant spellings Dahle, Dall(e)y, Dahll, Dalle and Dallay, has two distinct possible sources, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, Dalli may be of early medieval French origin, and a locational name either from Ally in Haute-Loire, with the fused preposition "de" (of), or from Grandes and Petites Dalle(s) in Ain, Pas-de-Calais, etc. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. On February 4th 1718, Marie, daughter of Dominique Dalli, was christened at Bagneux, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France, and on February 21st 1735, Francoise Dalli and Noel Petit were married in the same place. The second possibility is that Dalli is of medieval German origin, and a variant of the more familiar Dahl, itself a topographical name from residence in a valley, deriving from the German "tal", valley. On December 30th 1838, Gottliebe, daughter of Erdmann Dalli and Anna Maria Woicke, was christened at Niederzehren, Westpreussen, Germany, and on March 1st 1862, the marriage of Camillo Dalli to Maria Giusepp took place at Ortona (Civile), Chieti, Italy. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Charles Dalle, which was dated November 29th 1612, a christening witness at Rosieres-aux-Salines, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France, during the reign of King Louis X111 of France, of the House of Bourbon, 1610 - 1643. 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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