Recorded in several spellings including Davenport, Devenport, and Devonport, this is an English surname. It is locational name from Davenport, a small place in the county of Cheshire. Curiously Devonport in Devonshire, does not seem to have produced early if any surnames, except possibly John Devenport of Henbury in Wiltshire in 1555. Davenport is recorded as Deneportin the Domesday Book of 1086, and as Devennport in the charters of the abbey of Durham in the year 1130, and is situated on the river Dane. The river name is ancient British (pre-Roman) and means a trickling stream. The second element "port" derives from the Latin "portus", meaning a harbour. Locational surnames were originally given to the lord of the manor, or as a means of identification to those who left their place of origin to settle elsewhere. Early examples of the surname include: Ormus de Davenport in the Cheshire rolls of 1166, and Richard de Daveneport in the Staffordshire charters of 1203. A family of the name whose seat is still Capesthorne Hall, near Macclesfield, claim descent from Vivian de Davenport who died in 1257. A coat of arms granted to the Davenport family of Davenport, has the blaxon of a silver shield charged with a chevron between three black crosses crosslet fitchee, the crest being a man's head, couped at the shoulders and side head proper with a golden rope around the neck. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Deveneport. This was dated 1162, in the Pipe Rolls of Cheshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189.
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