This uncommon surname is of Old French origins. It is a variant dialectal spelling of the ancient and distinguished Daubeney, a locational name (with the fused preposition "de"), from one of the various places in northern France which include: Aubigne (Brittany), and Aubigny (Normandy). These are so called from the Gallo-Roman personal name "Albinius" (a derivative of "albus", white), with the locational suffix "-acum", meaning village or settlement. The surname was introduced into England by the Normans during the Conquest of 1066, and the first recorded namebearer (below), was an attendant of William the Conqueror.He came from Saint-Martin d'Aubigny (La Manche), and was the founder of the line of Aubigni, earls of Arundel. Early examples of the name abound in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of various English counties, and include: William de Aubeni (Nottinghamshire); Ordnell de Daubeny (Leicestershire); and John Daubini (Lincolnshire). In the modern idiom the name is variously spelt: Daubeny, Daubney, Dabney, Debney, Dobney and D'Aubney. Examples of early church recordings include Katherine Debney (parents not known), who was christened at St Mary Whitechapel on September 22nd 1583, John, the son of Arthur and Katherine Debney, who was christened at St. Sepulchre, London, on October 15th 1672, and Uriah Debney, a witness at St Giles Cripplegate, on June 30th 1699, in the reign of William 111 of Orange and England. An early Coat of Arms granted to the Daubeney or De Albini family depicts four silver lozenges conjoined in fess on a red shield, the Crest being a mullet on a tree. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Albini, known as "the butler D'Aubignie", which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book, 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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