There are two possible meanings of this medieval name of English origin, the first being that it is a Norman locational name from De ville in Seine-Maritime, probably from the Latin "dei villa", meaning "a settlement under God's protection". However, Daville, or its variants, Davall, Deaville, Devall, De Vile, Deville, De Ville, Divell and Evill, may also be a nickname surname for either a mischievous youth, or someone who played the part of the Devil in a pageant or mystery play, which were extremely popular in the Middle Ages. Many of the modern variant spellings are attempts to disguise the unpleasant connotations of the word. Amongst the sample recordings in London is the christening of Anne Daville, on October 17th 1673, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Daiville, which was dated 1184, in the "Records of the Templars in England in the 12th Century", Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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