This interesting and unusual name, with variant spellings Dunsheath, Dunshea, Dunshee and Dunseith is probably an Anglicized version of the Gaelic name "Dunshee", which is composed of the Gaelic elements "dun", meaning "fort", plus the second element "sith" or "shee", a fairy hill or fairy, hence the name translates as "the fort on the fairy hill", or "the fort of the fairies". The name itself has been prominent in the counties of Tyrone and Antrim since the 17th Century. Older forms of the name, Dunsith and Dunsheesithe were found in the Tyrone and Antrim Hearth Money Rolls, in 1604 and 1669. A few of the names appear in the eighteenth Century Cork marriage licence bonds, but the name is confined mainly to Ulster, particularly the Ballymena area. The London church registers record the christening of Jeremiah Dunshee on September 10th 1769 and that of Alexander Dunshee at St. Botolph without Aldgate, in November 1783. The name was probably introduced to England by Irish immigrants, particularly during the Famine (1845-1847). Margaret Dunseath married Francis Leveck in Belfast, on September 2nd 1843. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of James Dunsayer, who acquired property at Mount Stewart, Co. Tyrone, which was dated circa 1600, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "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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