This interesting and unusual name is of Medieval English origin and is a dialectal variant of Dewey, itself a Norman locational name from "douai" in Nord, France. This placename derives from a Gaulic personal name "dous" of uncertain etymology. During the Middle Ages it became increasingly common for people to migrate from their birth place to seek work elsewhere where, and they would often adopt of village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. Many French origin names were introduced into Britain after the Norman Conquest of 1066, and amongst the sample recordings in London is one Jane Doy who was christened on September 25th 1656 at St.Andrew, Holborn. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Saraye Doye (marriage to Thomas Hayes), which was dated Christchurch, Greyfriars, Newgate on June 18th 1584, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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