Recorded in a number of forms including Day, Daye, Dayes, Dey, D'eye, Deyes, and probably others, this is usually an English or Scottish surname. It has several possible origins. The first is as a derivative of the Hebrew name "David", a popular given name which derived from the word meaning beloved. As such it was Crusader name, that is to say one of a group of biblical names introduced into Europe by Knight Templars and pilgrims returning to their homelands from Palestine during the famous crusades of the early medieval period. Its popularity was owing King David of Israel, perhaps later to the patron saint of Wales. It was much associated with the early kings of Scotland and these were David 1st 1124 -1153, and David 11nd, 1329 - 1371. In England the personal name is recorded as early as in 1150 in the pipe rolls of Lincolnshire. A second possible origin is the Old English pre 7th century personal name "Daei". Derived from the word daeg, meaning day, it may have been a baptismal name for a lively child, one who reflected the promise of a bright day, whilst a third origin is from "daeg" and as such it was occupational and described an early bread maker. Examples of recordings taken from surviving rolls and charters include Aluric Dai of Berkshire in 1196, Ralph Deie of Leicestershire in 1211. Other recordings include William Dey of Mortlach, Banffshire, Scotland, in the year 1600, Arthur de Yes, recorded at the church of St Gregory's by St Pauls, city of 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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