There are a number of surnames in the world that have the same spellings, at least in Romanish, the alphabet used by most western countries, but which have quite different origins and meanings. This surname which is recorded in most of Northern Europe in the spelling of Dat, Datt, Date, Datte, Dates, and Dattes, has an added dimension - Japanese, where in its westernised form it is found as Date. In most of Europe the origin is probably the pre 7th century personal name of French origins 'Daude', although it may also originate from a similar word which described a traveller or merchant. The Japanese surname is a clan or Samori name, and is one of the two hundred or so that make up the 'Daimyo' or heraldic order of chivalry. The principal residence of the Date clan was given in the year 1601 as Sendai, in the province of Mutsu, with other families being at Uwasima and Yoshida, in the province of Iyo. The recordings in Europe are very interesting in that they are found in England before France. This however is owing to the destruction of most French church registers during the Revolution of 1792, when the Catholic Church and all religious activity was banned for a number of years, and all records destroyed as being instruments of the Secret Police. In England a further dimension was that the surname was probably Huguenot Protestant, and therefore a refugee surname. This seems to be proven by the register of the French church as shown below. These early recordings include: Joan Dates of Tottenham in London, who married John Childe on May 30th 1602, Jean and Gille Dat, witnesses at the French Church, Threadneedle Street, in the city of London, on October 1st 1642, Mary Date, the daughter of Charles Date, who was christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on August 31st 1642, and Marguerite Date, who married Jean Rimbault, at Castanviels, department of Aude, France, on February 10th 1733.
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