There are two possible sources of this interesting name, the first being that it is a Norman locational name from 'Douai' in Nord, France, itself from the Gaulish personal name 'Dous', of uncertain etymology, and probably introduced into Britain after the Conquest of 1066. However, Dewey, or its variants Dewy and Dewing, may also be a patronymic (son of) form of Dewin, a personal name whose Domesday Book (1086) recording appears as Derewin, which may be a source of this surname. Among the sample recordings in London are the marriages of Parnell Dewey and Thomas Goodman on May 28th 1521, and of George Dewey and Ann Nelson on December 11th 1675, and the christening of one James Dewey in April 1636, at St. Botolph's-without-Aldgate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ricardus Dewy, which was dated 1379, Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 11, 'Richard of Bordeaux', 1377-1399. 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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