This rare and interesting surname has two possible sources, the first being that it is of Scottish origin and locational from a place so called near Stirling, Scotland. This place is situated near the river Devon which rises in the hills above Glen Devon, and ends its course in the Forth Estuary. The derivation is from the British (pre Roman) "Dubona" meaning black river, associated with the Welsh "du", black or dark, plus the Old English pre 7th Century "side", slope of a hill. It is possible that the river may be dark from residual deposits from the peat bogs.However, Devonside, may also be an Anglicization of a French name "Devency" which is thought to be a locational name from a place called "Vence" near Nice in Southern France. One Jane Thomas Devency was christened in Manchester Cathedral Lancashire on December 23rd 1827, and William Edward Devonside was born in Liverpool in 1918, which suggests that the name development occurred in the early 20th Century. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Demenge Vencey, which was dated 1665, Benney, Meurthe-et-Moselle, during the reign of Louis X1V, King of France, 1643 - 1715. 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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