This ancient and unusual surname is of British (pre Roman) origin and is a locational name from Dunkerton in Somerset, recorded as "Duncretone" in the Domesday Book of 1086 and as "Dunkerton" in the 1225 Assize Rolls. The first elements are the name of a British hill, from the Welsh "din" meaning hill fort (Cornish "dun") and the Old Welsh "Crei(c)" rock, with the Olde English pre 7th Century "tun" a homestead or village; hence "homestead by the rocky hill". Dunkery Hill in Somerset is also named with the same Celtic elements. During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. The surname is first registered in the early half of the 14th Century (see below). On December 1st 1539, Alice Dunkerton was christened at West Pennard, Somerset, Timothy, son of John Dunkerton, was christened on September 26th 1615 Shepton Mallet, Somerset, and Willyam Dunkerton married Sara Goebye on June 4th 1615 at the church of St. James's, Clerkenwell, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas de Donkerton, which was dated 1327, in "Kirby's Quest for Somerset", during the reign of King Edward 111, "The Father of the Navy", 1327-1377. 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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