This most interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from a place so called near Downham Market in Norfolk, which was recorded as "Danefella, Danefaela" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Denever" in the Feet of Fines in 1200. The placename itself is composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century "Dena Faer", which means "the passage of Danes"; probably a place where Danes settled or where they regularly passed through. During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more popular, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name from its original source. The surname itself first appears in the mid 13th Century (see below). Other early examples of the surname include: Walter de Denver (1257, Norfolk); and William de Denver, Lord of Denver (1257). A Coat of Arms depicting a gold chevron between three silver crosses crosslet fitchee on a black shield was granted to a Denver family in Essex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ebrad de la Denver, Lord of Denver, which was dated 1189, in the "Feet of Fines of Norfolk", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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