Recorded in a number of spellings including Dietsch, Dietz, Dietze, diminutives Dietzel, Dietzle, Dietzlein, Dietzler and others, this is a German surname. Although medieval, few surnames existed at all before about the year 1100, it is in origin at least 5th century a.d. and originates from the word 'diet' meaning tribe or people. Early German personal names and the later surnames from which they developed, were usually secular, and based upon the concepts of law, honour, possession, and as in this case, the people. 'Diet' was also often used as a prefix as in the surnames Dietmar or Dietrich, and in early times was sometimes spelt with a 'T' as in Tiecelin, Thiecelin or Tietmann as examples. The surname is one of the earliest of German surnames, being 13th century or possibly earlier. Amongst the early recordings are examples taken from surviving charters such as those of Kunrat Dietzler of Pfullingen in 1249, Jehan Tiecelin of Bar in Pomerania, in 1335, and Albrecht Dietz of Lugwigsburg in the year 1350. The name spelling as Dietz is also quite well recorded in the church registers of the city of London from the Mid 18th century, and includes the marriage of Diana Dietz to the exotically named Haydock Hill on February 1st 1781 at the church of St. Mary-le-bone. A coat of arms granted in Germany has the blazon of 'Per pale red and silver, in chief a black griffin, and in base a blue mullet'. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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