This surname recorded in the spellings of Devon, Devan, Devonish, Devenish and Devons is usually English and usually describes a former inhabitant of the county of Devonshire in the west of England. However this is always the case. Sometimes the origin may be pre 10th century French and a development of the word 'devin', introduced into England after the 1066 Norman Invasion. This describes 'a divine person', possibly a holy man or hermit, one given to good works. On the other hand with the robust medieval humour, the original meaning may well be the complete reverse! The post medieval persecution of the protestant Hugenots particularly in France lead to a major immigration into the British Isles between the years 1580 and 1750. Amongst these people were some named De Vaine and De Vienne, and these were also the ancestors of some modern Devon and Devons name holders. Examples of the early recordings include William le Deveneys of Somerset, in the year 1243, whilst Guilelmus Devon married Elizabeth Latham at the famous church of St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on December 16th 1665. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Robert le Deveneis, which was dated 1205, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Lincoln. This was during the reign of King John of England, known by the nickname of "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. . Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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