At first glance the origin of this ancient surname seems simple. It would seem to be locational from the county of Devon in the west of England. For many nameholders this is certainly not the case. Recorded today in the spellings of Devon and Devons, the origin is often French and a development of the word 'devin'. This word describes 'a divine person', probably a hermit, certainly one given to good works. The first recording as shown below could of course be satirical, the people of the medieval period were given to robust attitudes! The later persecution of the protestant Hugenots in Europe 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 seem to have been ancestors of many later Devon and Devons. Examples of the early recordings include Isaac De Vienne, christened at the French Church, Threadneedle Street, London on June 1st 1625, and Isaac Devaine, christened at the same church on October 9th 1736. Other recordings include: Guilelmus Devon, who married to Elizabeth Latham at the famous church of St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on December 16th 1665, whilst on July 31st 1851, Elizabeth Devons married Richard Hanley at St Nicholas church, Liverpool, Lancashire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is possibly that of Nicholas Le Devin. This was dated 1187, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Hereford, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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