This interesting name, found chiefly in Lancashire, is of Old French origin, introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname derives from the Old French term "deintiet", from the Latin "dignitas", dignitatis", worth, value, a derivative of "dignus", worthy, in Middle English "deinteth", with the developed meaning of "pleasure, titbit". This term was used in the Middle Ages as an affectionate nickname, or a term of address, and the later form, "deinte" (from the Old French "deint(i)e"), was also used in the sense "fine, handsome, pleasant".The surname from this source, found as Daintith, Dainteth, Denteth, Dentith, Denty and Dainty, is a good example of that large group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames, often given with reference to a person's physical attributes, and mental and moral characteristics. One Thomas Dentithe is listed in Suffolk Parish Registers in 1591, and other recordings from Church Registers include those of the christening of Barbara, daughter of William Daintith, on June 5th 1608, in Warrington, Lancashire, and the marriage of Jonathan Daintith and Katherine Booth at Holy Trinity, Chester, on February 2nd 1680. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes Deynteth, which was dated 1379, in "Records of the Borough of Nottingham", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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