This very interesting name would seem to have an equally interesting source. It is either of locational or topographical origin, and probably derives from the Anglo-Saxon pre 9th Century "Dene-halh", meaning the place of the Danes, or possibly "the place (halh) on the River Dane", as in Davenport (Cheshire), or Davenham (Cheshire). However, as the surname "Devonald" does not apparently appear in the Cheshire Records, it would seem that the present spelling is a dialectal variant. We have not been able to positively establish the original site of "Dane-halh", but, Danehill in Sussex is a possibility. The name "link" recordings (all in London area) include: Davenhill (below), to George Devenhall (1740); Mary Devenall (1770); and Erasmus Devonald (also recorded as Davonold) at St. Mary Le Bone Church, on September 2nd 1825. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Matthew Davenhill, which was dated June 19th 1729, marriage to Abigal Cowley, at All Hallows Church, London Wall, London, during the reign of King George 11, known as "The Last Soldier King", 1727 - 1760. 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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