Recorded as D' Ewes, Dewes, Dewis, and others, this is a surname is of Dutch, Flemish or Frisian origin. It derives from Thies, a short form of the male given name Mathiess, and from the Hebrew word meaning "Gift of God". Recorded in the Greek New Testament, it was taken into Roman (Latin) as both Matthias and Matthaeus, the former being used for the apostle, and the latter for the evangelist. The subsequent popularity of the name gave rise to a variety of diminutive personal names including: Thies, Thiese, Dies, Diess, Theuss, Deuss, Tewes, Thewys and others. The surname was initially introduced into England by Flemish weavers, brought over by Edward 111rd (1327 - 1377), to aid in the development of the British textile industry. Many settled in the area known as the Cotswolds, and their colony was greatly strengthened by Huguenot Protestant refugees fleeing religious persecution in their own country after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Notable bearers of the name include: Geerardt Dewes, the Elizabethan painter, who died in 1591. He was descended from the ancient lords of Kessel in Guelderland, whilst Sir Simon D' Ewes (1602 - 1650), was High Sheriff for Suffolk in 1639. A coat of arms associated with the name has the blazon of a gold shield, charged with a fesse vair between three red quatrefoils. The first recorded spelling of the family name is that of Giles Dewes or Dewis, the librarian to Henry V11th in 1509. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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