This is an interesting locational name brought to England by the Normans in 1066. The derivation is from the Gallo-Roman personal name "Isinius" and originates as Isigne Mar Bayeux, Normandy, France a place famous for its butter. The family gave the name to Norton Disney in Lincolnshire. Two of the notable bearers of the name listed in the National Biography were clergymen e.g. John Disney 1677 - 1730, who wrote on the "Reformation of Manners", and John Disney 1746 - 1816 who published memoirs and theological works. Probably the most famous bearer of the name is Walt Disney renowned for his animated cartoon industry. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Ysini, which was dated 1177 Danelaw Documents, London, during the reign of King Henry II, The Builder of Churches, 1154 - 1189. 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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