This interesting surname has two possible derivations. Firstly, it may derive from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Deora", Middle English "Dere", which is in part a short form of various compound names with the first element "deor", dear, and in part a byname meaning "Beloved". However, in some instances, it may have originated from the Olde English "deor", Middle English "dere", a wild animal, deer, which was perhaps used as a nickname for someone who bore a fancied resemblance to a wild animal, or one who was swift or timid. Variant forms of the name Dare include Dear, Deare, Deares, Deer and Deere, and the surname is distinguished by being first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 (see below). Other early examples of the surname include Mathew Dere, mentioned in the Register of the Freemen of Leicester in 1196, and one Robert le Dere, recorded in the Oxfordshire Hundred Rolls of 1279. London Church Registers record the christening of Alice, daughter of William Dare, on February 21st 1541, at St. Nicholas Cole Abbey, and the marriage of Marke Dare to Agnes Plvmpton on August 19th 1541, at St. Stephan's, Coleman Street. The family Coat of Arms depicts on a silver shield a blue lion rampant between three red crescents, and the Crest, on a chapeau a demi lion proper holding between the paws a silver increscent. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Goduui Dere, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Bedfordshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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