Recorded in the spellings of Daintier, Dainter, Daintith, Daunter, Daynter and Danter, this unusual surname has confusing origins. It is probably early French but may be English. If French it may derive from the word "digne" meaning worthy, which was used as a pre-medieval personal name of some popularity or from the word "deinte" meaning fine and handsome, also found in the modern surnames Dainty and Denty. The use of the agent suffix -er or -ier would appear to indicate either a person who came from a place such as d'Antin in Provence, or that it was occupational to indicate "one who works" perhaps from the word "dansant" meaning to dance, and hence a dancing instructor. Early examples of the surname recordings include examples such as Robert le Dine (Robert the Worthy?) who appears in the pipe rolls of the county of Surrey in the year 1201, and William Deinte of Berkshire in 1227. There appear to be two periods of history when the name was introduced from France into the British Isles. The first being at the Norman Conquest of 1066, and later in the 17th century with the Huguenot protestant refugees, an example of the latter being Robert Daintier, a witness at the French church, Threadneedle Street, in the city of London, on August 15th 1622. Other recordings from the surviving London diocese registers of those days include Katheren Daynter who married James Cooke on December 3rd 1603, at St. Giles Cripplegate, and Hester Daunter, who was christened on May 25th 1663, at St. Dunstan's in the East, Stepney. Anthony Dainter was a witness at St Giles Cripplegate on August 5th 1655, whilst Ann Danter, the daughter of Samuel Danter, was christened at Mottistone, Hampshire, on May 5th 1714. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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