Recorded in several spellings including Devine, Divine, and the rare diminutive Diviny, this is an English surname of French origins. Introduced into England by the Norman French at the famous Conquest of 1066, it is a nickname surname and one of a large group that were created in the Middle Ages from the habitual use of a nickname. In this case it is one given with ironic intentions to someone who may well have been far from "divine". It originates ultimately from the Roman (Latin) word "divinus", meaning god-like! The early recordings of the surname such as that of Nicholas Le Deuin (below), show the typical medieval use of "u" for "v". Examples of recorings in surviving church registers include the marriage of Joseph Devine and Sarah Humphrys at St. James's Westminster, on December 29th 1783, whilst the endearment form of Diviny is recorded with that of Edward Diviny who was married in the city of Derby on September 1st 1854. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas le Deuin. This was dated 1187, in the Pipe Rolls of Herefordshire during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, and known as "The Church Builder", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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