This name is a puzzle. At the first research the indications were that it was a transposed and foreshortened spelling which derived from the Ancient Gaelic personal name of the 7th century 'Donald' originally spelt 'Dumhall' of which the patronymic is Donaldson, Donkin or Donalson. Further research indicated that this may in fact be an anglicized variant of the French Heraldic name 'Donnissan' a name with Huguenot associations and also found as 'Donisi'. The origin in this case being from the green 'Dionysios'. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jean Donnissan. which was dated C. 1680 St. Guyenne, France. during the reign of King Louis X1V The Sun King 1643 - 1715. 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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