This interesting and unusual name has its origins in an Old Norse personal name "Dolgfinnr", which was a common name in Northern England in the 10th and 11th Centuries in areas of heavy Scadinavian settlement. The name is composed of the elements "dolgr", wound or scar" and "finnr", the Old Norse personal name "Finn". The modern surname has two forms Duffin, Duffyn, Duffan and Dolphin, although "Duffin" may also be from the Old Norse "Dufan" itself from the Old Irish "Duban", a byname from a diminutive of "dubh", black. The name development has included "William Duffin" (1279, Huntingdonshire) and Robert Dolphin (1606, Lancashire). Henry Duffin married Elizabeth Willmutt on the 26th May 1655 at St. Margarets, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey Dolfin, which was dated 1171, in the "Hampshire Pipe Rolls", 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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