This name, with variant forms Devonish, Devenish and Devon, is of English regional origin from Devonshire in South West England. Recorded variously as Defenascir and Defnascir in "The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" under the dates 851 and 894 respectively, the place was so called from the British "Defnas", a tribal name for the Celtic native peoples, ultimately from the latin "Dummonii" meaning "worshippers of the god Dumnonos". "British", in this case, refers to the extinct Celtic language of the ancient Britons.The second element "shire" come's from the pre 7th Century Old English "scir", a district or administrative division. One, Robert le Deveneis was recorded in the 1205 "Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire", and an Adam de Devon in the 1275, "Hundred Rolls of Norfolk". Entries in English church registers include the marriage of James Devonshire to Jane Flatcher on September 10th 1566, Stoke in Teinhead, Devonshire, and the marriage of Agnete Devonshire to Guilielm Griffyn, Westminster, London, September 18th 1582). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Devonshire, (christened), which was dated August 5th 1552, Stoke in Teignhead, Devonshire, during the reign of King Edward V1, "The Boy King", 1547 - 1553. 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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