This unusual name is a variant of the more familiar 'Dawkin', and has two possible origins. The first and most likely is English, and of the early medieval period when the personal name 'David' was introduced into England. 'Daw' is a diminutive of 'David', and 'Dawkin' or 'Dorkin' (an alternative phonetic spelling) a diminutive of 'Daw'. David is derived from the Hebrew and means 'beloved'. 'Daw' was also used as a nickname for someone with very black hair or a loud voice, referring to the (jack) daw. The second possible origin is from the Russian patronymic 'Dorofeer', from 'doron', gift and 'theos', God, where Dorkin is a diminutive form. William Dorkin was christened on the 20th July 1567 at St. Margaret's, Westminster. The patronymic Dorkins (son of Daw) is very rare, James Dorkins being christened at Shustoke, Warwickshire on November 28th 1775. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robertus Dorkyn, which was dated 1379, The Yorkshire Poll Tax Returns, during the reign of King Richard 11, 'Richard of Bordeaux', 1377 - 1399. 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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