Recorded in the spellings of Divington, Dovington, and the apparent variants Dovingingham and Dovinson, this is an English surname. It may originate either from a 'lost' medieval village or villages, some five thousand British Isles surnames do originate from places whose only memory in the 20th century is preserved in the surviving surname, or the surname is a variant of a place name such as Duddington in Northamptonshire, or even Dufton in Westmorland. We can say with some conviction that the surviving recordings of the surname suggest that it is tribal, Olde English, and possibly pre 7th century, at least in its origin, although the surname itself could be as late as the 17th century. It appears to be a development of the ancient name 'Dubh' meaning dark skinned or complexioned. To this was added 'ing' meaning 'the people of' plus the suffix 'tun', to give 'the place of the people called Dubh' or similar. As to where the place of origin was, assuming that it is not a simple corrupted spelling, we do not know. The surname recordings are scattered, and being 'from' surnames, that it to say surnames given to people after they left their original homes, and when they settled elsewhere, makes it even more difficult to be precise. The spelling as Dovinson may be a derivative of the above names, or it may be a very rare form of the medieval patronymic Dobinson, meaning 'the son of the son of Dob'. The latter is a short form of Rob(ert). In Middle English 'b' and 'v' were often interchanged. A very early example is: Johannes Dobynson in the Yorkshire Poll Tax registers for 1379, whilst Georeg Dovingingham was recorded at St Olaves church, York, on December 30th 1623. Other early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving church registers include: Jane Divington, who married German (!) Wright at Sponden, Derbyshire, on October 10th 1707, and Elizabeth Dovington, christened at the church of St Clement Danes, Westminster, on February 18th 1770.
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