This interesting surname may be either of Anglo-Saxon, or of Old Gaelic origin. If the former, Doone is a variant of the more familiar "Down, Donne", itself a topographical name from residence by a down, hill or mountain, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "dun", hill, mountain, with an important special sense of "hill pasture". Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Early examples of same include: Gilbert de la Donne (Essex, 1273), and Sibil atte Doune (Somerset, 1327. Doone may also be of locational origin from any of the places in Scotland named with the Old Gaelic "dun", fort, including Doune in the parish of Kilmadock, Perthshire, and Doune in Ross and Cromarty. Locational surnames were chiefly given as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Finally, Doone may be an Anglicized form of the Old (Irish) Gaelic "O'Dubhain", descendant of Dubhain, a male given name from "dubh", dark, also Anglicized as Dwane, Devane, Duane and Down. On September 22nd 1568, Ellen Doone was christened at St. Botolph's without Aldgate, London, and on March 2nd 1866, the birth of Lawrence Doone was registered at Castlecomer, County Kilkenny. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de la Duna, which was dated circa 1170, in "Studies on Middle English Local Surnames", Sussex, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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