This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon and French origin, and has two possible sources. Firstly, the surname may be locational from Dewsbury in the West Riding of Yorkshire, which is recorded as "Deusberia" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Dewesbiri" in the 1226 Feet of Fines. The derivation of the placename is from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Dewi" or "David", and "burg", fort, fortified place; hence, "David's fort". Locational names were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their village or place of origin to settle elsewhere.Secondly, the surname may be a variant of the French Dubarry, which is a topographical name for "one who lived at the edge of the town". The name is from the Anglo-Norman French "barri", rampart, surrounding embankment of a fort, later "barri" came to mean "a suburb outside the rampart of a town". Robertus de Dewsbury is noted in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Duberry, Dewbury and Dewberry. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Christopher Dewberry and Anne Bigott on December 21st 1584, at Whixley, Yorkshire; the christening of Elizabeth, daughter of Gyles Dewberry, at St. Andrew Undershaft, London, on February 22nd 1589; and the christening of John, son of Richard and Joan Dewberry, on October 10th 1619, at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, also in London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Dewesberi, which was dated 1204, in the "Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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