This interesting surname has three origins; firstly, it may be of Welsh origin, a nickname for a swarthy person, deriving from the Welsh "du" meaning dark, black. Secondly, it may be of Irish origin, an Anglicized form of the Gaelic O'Deaghaidh, the prefix "O" denoting male descendant of, plus the personal name "Deaghadh", composed of the elements "deagh" meaning good, plus "adh", luck, fate. Thirdly, it may be a topographical name for someone living on the banks of the river Dee in Cheshire, or one of the same name in Scotland. The origin of both of these is the British word meaning "sacred"; the British language is the extinct Celtic language of the ancient Britons. Church Records list the marriage of Thomas Dee to Sarah Wels in 1625 at St. Peter's, Paul's Wharf, London, and of Humphredus Dee to Maria Trueman on May 14th 1693 in Heswall, Cheshire. A Coat of Arms granted to a Dee family is gold, a red lion rampant and bordure engrailed. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anne Dee, which was dated October 17th 1546, marriage to Chrystofer Thornton, at St. Stephan's, Coleman's Street, London, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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