This interesting and unusual name, with the variants Daddow, Daunay, Dauney, Dawnay, Dawney and Delan(e)y, is of French (Norman) origin and has two possible meanings, the first being that it is a Scandinavian personal name of unknown etymology. The second, and more likely is that it is a dialectal variant of "Aunou", in Orne, Normandy, with the fused preposition "de". Annou derives from the Old French "aunaie", meaning an alder grove. A Somerset family came from this place and have left their name in the village of Compton-Dando in the 13th Century. The earliest recording of this placename is in the Domesday Book of 1086 and appears as "Contone", and a later recording in the Assize Rolls of Somerset of 1256 as "Compton Dunnon". Locational names such as this, were widely dispersed as a result of those migrating from their village to work elsewhere, using the placename as a means of identification. A Fulco Dando, and a Toke Dando are recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Somerset in 1273. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alexander Dando, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Somerset", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "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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