This unusual name is of early medieval English origin, and is one of the diminutive forms of the surname developed from the personal name "David". This was adopted from the Hebrew male given name meaning "beloved", and was popular on a limited scale among European Christians during the Middle Ages, due largely to the fame of the biblical King David. In Britain the popularity of the personal name was increased by virtue of its being the name of the patron saint of Wales, a 6th Century monk and bishop, and by the fact that the name was borne by two kings of Scotland, David 1 (reigned 1124 - 1153), and David 11, (1329 - 1371). In Scotland the diminutive form of the name most often used is Davie or Davy, while in England Davey is more usual, showing the influence of the French popular form introduced with the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. Among the recordings of the name in London is that of the marriage of Thomas Davey and Rose Evans at St. Gregory by St. Paul, on May 24th 1582. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Davey, which was dated 1198, in the "Records of St. Bartholomew's Hospital", London, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard 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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