This unusual and interesting name is a dialectal diminutive form of the Hebrew male given name David, meaning 'the beloved one'. Since the very dawn of history, David has been perennially popular in honour of the biblical King David, the greatest known King of Israel, whose deeds thrilled the ancient peoples. The name was adopted by Christians throughout Europe during the Middle Ages, and specifically resulting from the Crusades to the Holy Land. However 'David' was a popular 'given' name in Britain even as early as the 6th Century, as a result of St. David (or Dewi) Bishop of Menevia, Patron Saint of Wales, and founder of the monasteries of Glastonbury, Leominster, and Raglan. There are many moderns spellings deriving from the medieval pet forms of Daui and Davy. These include the diminutives Davitt, Davydge, Davidge and the West Country Daveridge. Examples of recordings are Thomas Davit in the 1275 Hundred Rolls of Norfolk, Richard Davydge in the 1591 state papers for London, George Davidge of Norwich in 1704, and John Daveridge of Heathfield, Somerset in 1753. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Dauy, which was dated 1198, in the register of St. Bartholomews Hospital, London, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as 'The Lionheart' 1189 - 1199. 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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