This surname of Anglo-Saxon origin is a topographical name for a dweller in the valley, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "denu" meaning "valley". Topographical surnames were among the earliest created since both natural and man made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages.The surname dates back to the early 14th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Simon Dann (1332), "The Subsidy Rolls of Sussex".Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Dan, Dane, Danne, etc.., Margery Dane married Jam's Empsun on November 29th 1539, at St. Stephen, Coleman Street, London. Dorothey Danne married Steven Willsy at St. Matthew's, Friday Street, on August 2nd 1562, and Thomas Dann married Jone Gryphyn at St. Margaret's, Westminster, on April 19th 1591. Whilst John Dan is recorded in the Death Register, in the parish of St. Michael's, Barbados, on July 10th 1678. Rose Dann, aged twenty years, a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the "Mersey" bound for New York on May 30th 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey atte Danne, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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