This long-established surname is of Old French origin, and is a topographical name for someone who lived in a village as opposed to an isolated farmhouse, or in the town as opposed to the countryside, deriving from the Old French "ville", settlement (Latin "villa", country house, estate, later used of a group of houses forming a settlement). Alternatively, the name may be specifically locational from Deville in Seine-Inferieur, Normandy. Locational surnames were originally given to local landowners, and the lord f the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Early examples of the surname include: Walter Daiville (Lincolnshire, 1184); Roger de Diville (Norfolk, 1198), and Roger Deyvill (Yorkshire, 1251). Cotes de Val in Leicestershire, recorded as "Cotesdeyvill", in the 1285 Feudal Aids of that county, was held by a Deville family from Deville (Normandy). The name was reintroduced into England by French Huguenot refugees fleeing religious persecution in their own country from the early 17th Century. On January 22nd 1604, Jenne, daughter of Antoinne and Elinne De Ville, was christened at the Threadneedle Street French Huguenot Church, London, and on February 3rd 1754, Susanne, daughter of Jacques Louis and Marguerite Deville, was christened at the Glasshouse Street, French Huguenot Church, also in London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Daivill', which was dated 1175, in the "Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire", 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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