This interesting surname is one of a group of famous names which owe their origin to the 1066 Norman Conquest and (in some cases) a further influsion through the 17th Century Huguenots. In this case the name is first officially recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book, with Nigel de Albengi being recorded in Bedfordshire, with other recordings in Berkshire, all being Knights and followers of 'The Conqueror' in 1066. The name originates from St. Martin D'Aubigny in La Manche, Normandy, and is recorded in 1269 (Somerset) as Dabeney, the link name with the modern spelling. Later developments included 'Dampany' (circa 1730) and Dampenny (circa 1780), now apparently extinct. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Frances Dampney, which was dated 1691, christened at Greyfriars, London, during the reign of King William III of Orange, England 1689 - 1702. 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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