This ancient Scottish name derives from the Barony of Dunsyre in Lancashire. First recorded in the 13th Century, the name is a combination of the Olde English 'dun' meaning a hill, and the Norse 'skali', a wooden fort. The name recordings and development include John, Laird of Dunsyre, who in 1299 sold lands called 'Le Hyllis' to one Alan de Denume (Dunoon) the charter being witnessed by Andrew, the Vicar of Dunsyre. In 1425 Patrick de Donsyer was given safe passage into England whilst in 1486, Robert Dunsyar, a merchant received the same safe conduct passport.The first recording in England would seem to be Alexander Dunsier who married Katherine Holline at St. Peter's Church, Pauls Wharf, London on February 10th 1613. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mariorie de Dunsier, which was dated 1296, rendered homage at 'Berewyke' to the English King, during the reign of King Edward I, 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. 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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