This interesting and rare surname is an occasional variant of "Dinneen", which is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic "O'Duinnin", from the Gaelic personal name "Donn" which comes from "donn", brown. Denning with Diana and Diane was found on the list of synonyms equated with Dineen (a name which means the same or nearly the same as another) used by emigrants which was compiled by the Cunard company. The great majority of Dineens are found in County Cork, especially in the south western part anciently known as Corca Laoidhe. The family were famous as poets and historians, providing a succession of hereditary poets and historians to the Mac Carthys and occasionally to the O'Sullivans. Tadhg O'Dineen, poet to the Earl of Clancarty was a prominent member of the 17th Century school of poetry in Blarney, Co. Cork. At Donagh, Donegal one Letitia Denning married Robert Hilliard on August 28th 1846, while William, son of William and Rebaca Denning was christened at St. Olave, Southwark, London on March 19th 1730. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Dennynge, who married Walter Stokes, which was dated April 9th 1570, in "St. Giles Cripplegate", London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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