This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is either a topographical name from residence in a wood, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "wudu", Middle English "wode, wood", with the fused preposition "de la", or a locational name from the parish of Dalwood, north west of Axminster in Devonshire. Recorded as "Dalewude" in the 1195 Pipe Rolls of Devonshire, and as "Dalwde" in the 1201 Curia Regis Rolls, the place was so called from the Olde English "dael", valley, a relatively uncommon element also found in Dalham (Kent and Suffolk), and "wudu", wood; hence, "wood in a valley". Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognizable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages, and locational names were chiefly given as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Early examples of the surname include: John del Wode (Wakefield, Yorkshire, 1274), and Richard dilwood (Suffolk, 1327). On April 10th 1602, Daniell Dallwood and Katherin Darby were married at Berry Pomeroy, Devonshire, and on November 13th 1621, Anne Dalwood married Guy Arden at Stoke sub Hamdon, Somerset. A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts a black eagle displayed with two necks, perched on a staff lying fesseways raguly green, on a silver shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter de la Wode, which was dated 1242, in the "Book of Fees of Herefordshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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