This most interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and derives from the Anglo-Latin word "dennagium, dennage, donage", meaning to stow or secure with dunnage. Hence dunnage was the term given to brushwood, mats, or any light, loose material which was stowed among and beneath the cargo of a vessel to keep it from being damaged by chafing or sea water. Thus the name was an occupational surname for someone who packed or loaded a ship. Early examples of the surname, from London, Devonshire and Sussex Church Registers include the christening of John, son of John Downage, on January 31st 1601, at the Church of St. Peter le Poer, London; the marriage of Mary Dennidge and John Payn, at the Church of St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, on May 26th 1650; the christening of Thomas, son of Nicholas and Mary Denidge, on October 2th 1668, at Horsham in Sussex; and the christening of Daniel, son of Samuel and Mary Dimnage, on September 22nd 1746, at St. Leonard's Church, Shoreditch, in London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Julian Dennynge, which was dated 1559, christened at Hennock in Devonshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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