Recorded in many forms as shown below, and found through the British Isles, this is a very interesting surname. It has two possible origins. This first is as a derivative of the famous personal name "David", a popular given name throughout the British Isles during the Middle Ages. Derived from the Hebrew word meaning "beloved", it was one of a large group of similar biblical names introduced into Europe from the Holy Land by the famous crusaders of the 12th century. Its popularity was due in part to the fame of the king of Israel, and much later to its being the name of the patron saint of Wales. It was also the name of two kings of Scotland: These were David 1st, who reigned from 1124 - 1153, and David 11nd, 1329 - 1371. In England the personal name is recorded in 1150 in Lincolnshire as "Dauid clericus", and as "Davit" in 1278, in Cambridgeshire. The second possible origin for the surname spellings of Day, Daye, Dayes, Days, Daie, Dais, Deas, Deays, Deis, Dey, Deye, or the unusual D'Eye, is the Olde English pre 7th century personal name "Daei". This is from the word 'daeg', meaning 'day', and it may also be a short form of the compound personal names such as Daegberht and Daegmund, translating as "day-bright" and "day-protection". The early surname development includes: Aluric Dai of Berkshire in 1196, and Ralph Deie of Leicestershire in 1211. Other recordings include Arthur de Yes, recorded at the church of St Gregory's by St Pauls, London, on December 16th 1619, whilst Richard Day was an early emigrant to America, leaving London on the ship "Plaine Joan" in May 1635, bound for Virginia. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godina Daia, which was dated 1095, in "Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds", Suffolk. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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