Recorded in a wide range of spellings including Dando, Daunay, Dauney, Dawnay, Dawney, Dorney (English) and Delaney, Dondon and Dundon (Irish), this is a surname of Norman-French origins. It is locational and derives from the villages of Aunou or Aunay, of which there are several examples in Normandy and Northern France. The surname has been fused with the preposition "de" to create the modern surname as in D'Aunay. The place names derive from the pre 8th century Old French word "aunaie", meaning an alder grove. After the Norman Conquest, nameholders were granted large estates mainly in the North and West of England. The name in Ireland dates from 1170 when Strongbow, earl of Pembroke, invaded the country, and originally as de Auno and later as Dundon became prominent in County Limerick. The Somerset family of Dando were from Aunou, and have left their name in the village of Compton Dando. The earliest recording of this placename is in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it is spelt as "Contone", a later recording in the Assize Rolls of Somerset of 1256 gives it as as "Compton Dunnon". Amongst the earliest recordings are those of Robert del Aunei in Lincoln in 1156, and Helias de Auno of Somerset in 1201. Mathew Dauney was recorded in Whitby, Yorkshire, in the year 1251, whilst Fulco Dando and Toke Dando are recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Somerset in 1273. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of William de Alno, in the Domesday Book of Suffolk, in the year 1086. This was during the reign of King William 1st, known as "The conqueror", 1066 - 1087.
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