This interesting surname has a number of possible origins. Firstly, it may derive from the Germanic personal name "Drogo" (from the Old Saxon "(gi)drog", ghost, phantom) which was the name borne by a son of Charlemagne, which became popular in France and was introduced into Britain by the Normans. It may perhaps be a nickname from the old French "dru", favourite, lover (from the Old High German element "drut", meaning dear, beloved). Also it may be habitational from a number of places in France called Dreux, or from places which get their names from old French "rieux", streams. it could also be an aphetic variation of Andrew. Another possibility is as an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "mac an Druaidh", "O' Druaidh", meaning "son of", or "male descendant of" the druid. The surname itself first appears in the late 12th Century. William Dryw was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcester in 1275. John Drew was recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1327. In the modern idiom, the surname has many variant spellings including Drew, Drewe, Drewes, Dreux, etc.. On December 26th 1672, John Druce married Jane Stevens, at St. Mary's, St. Marylebone Rd., and Ann, daughter of William and Elizabeth Druce was christened on October 24th 1693 at St. Margaret's, Lothbury. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Dreu, which was dated 1188, in the "Calendar of Abbot Samson of Bury St. Edmunds", 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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