his very interesting and ancient surname has several nationalities and origins. Recorded in many forms including Don, Donne, Doon Dunn, Dunne (English, Scottish and Irish) , Don, Dodon, Donnet, Donard (France), Doni, Dono, and diminutives and compounds such as Doncello and Donato (Italy) and no doubt others, this is a surname with several potential and often overlapping origins. Firstly wherever found it may derive from the pre 5h century Celtic or Gaelic word 'donn' meaning brown, as in brown skinned or brown hair, or the similar Anglo-Saxon 'dunn'. Secondly it may be from a fused form of the French locational surname 'de Hon', said to be from the departement of Nord. Thirdly if Italian it may be from several sources, including an aphatic spelling of Raimondo, or from a short forrm of Donadio, meaning 'given to god'. Italian surnames follow no known formula. They were hearditary but not fixed in spelling, each generation adding to or subrating from the base form according to personal whim. The surname is first recorded anywhere in the world in England, and early examples include John le Dunn, in the Court Rolls of Hertfordshire in 1198, whilst Jobin Don appears in the Staffordshire Forest Pleas, dated 1271. In the surviving registers of Italy Giovanni Dono is recorded as being chistened at Lavagna, Milano, on July 1st 1794. 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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