This unusual name is a medieval nickname which derives from the ancient Greek Dionysos (The Divine One) through the French 'Denys' to the medieval 'Denis or Denise'. In this case the name means 'the son of Den(is)' or 'Petit Denis', the modern alternative spellings being Dennet, Dennett, and Dennitt. Occasionally a plural version of the name is found meaning 'the son of Den(is) son' - a double diminutive. Other spellings have included 'Dynot' (1279 Oxford) and Denot (1332 Sussex). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alice Denet which was dated 1279 The Hundred Rolls of Bedford during the reign of King Edward 1 The Hammer of the Scots 1272 - 1307 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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