There are two very different possible sources for this interesting Anglo-Saxon surname. Firstly, it may be derived from the Middle English personal name "Dere", Olde English pre 7th Century "Deora", meaning "beloved". Secondly, the surname may be derived from a nickname, from the Olde English "deor", wild animal, or from the adjective of the same form meaning "wild" or fierce". Later, however, during the Middle English period, the name took on the more modern meaning, "deer". A sizeable group of early European surnames were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These were given in the first instance with reference to occupation, or to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, or to habits of dress.In the modern idiom the surname can be found recorded as D(e)are, Deer(e), Dearman, Dorman and Deering. An interesting namebearers, recorded in the "Dictionary of National Biography", are George Deering, a botanist who was envoy to Queen Anne, and John Deering, an architect famous for his design of public buildings in London. A Coat of Arms granted to the Deering family is a green shield with three silver buck's heads couped, attired gold. In Heraldry silver denoted Peace and Sincerity, and gold denotes Generosity. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Dering, which was dated circa 1250, in the "Cartulary of the Monastery of Ramsey", Norfolk, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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