This unusual name has two possible origins, each equally applicable to modern day bearers of the surname. The first of the source is from a short form of a Germanic personal name, "Deinhard" which is composed of the elements "degen", warrior, and "hard", meaning "brave", "hardy" or "strong". Other diminutives of this name are "Denecke", "Dehnecke" and Dehncke" the patronymic form being "Dehns". The surname can also be "Dehn", the Germanic ethnic name for someone from Denmark, indeed the Danes are thought to have been named originally from a Germanic Cognomen of the Old English word "denu", meaning "valley", referring to their inhabitation of a low-lying area. The English equivalent to this form is "Dench". One "Stina Dehn" married Carl Stecer at St. Pancras, Old Church, in July 1865. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anne Dehen, married George Butler. which was dated 10th November 1702, St. Antholin, Budge Row, London. during the reign of Queen Ann, 1702 - 1714. 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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