This interesting surname is of English locational origin from a place called "Dimsdale" in Staffordshire, which appeared as "Dulmesdene" in the Domesday Book of 1086 and "Dimesdal" in the Book of Fees in 1242. The placename itself is composed of the first element "dimple", a Middle English word for a "dip in the ground", plus the second element "dale", the Olde English for valley, a common element in English placenames. The surname was first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below). One Thomas Dimsdale was christened on December 9th, 1627 at St.Nicholas, Deptford, Kent, while William Dimsdale married Ann Dade on September 10th 1689 at Otley, Yorkshire. Thomas Dimsdale (1712-1800) inoculated the Empress Catherine, various Russian Princes and the Hawaiian Omai against small pox and became a councillor of the state in Russia with the hereditary title of baron in 1768. A Coat of Arms was granted to Joseph Cockfield Dimsdale, Esq of Upton, West Ham, Co. Essex which consisted of "a silver fesse dancette" between three blue "mullets" and two gold "bezants" (coins). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Dimedale, which was dated 1216 circa, in the "Testa de Neville, sive Liber Feodorum temp Henry 111-Edward 1, (Norfolk), during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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