Recorded in various spell as shown below, this interesting surname is of Norman-French origins. Introduced into England after the famous Conquest of 1066 as the personal name "Durant", it is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 in the Latinized form of "Durandus". It derives from the pre 7th century word "durant" meaning enduring, and is ultimately from the Roman (Latin) "durus", meaning hard or firm. As a personal name only it was recorded as "Durand" in the county of Hampshire in 1116, and later as Doraunt in Yorkshire in 1312. The modern surname can be found in many different forms including Durant, Durand, Durrant, Durrand, (English and French) Dorant, Dorran and Dorrins (English) and Durante, (French and Italian). Amongst the early settlers to the New World was Nathan Durant. He is recorded as being a land-owner in the island of Barbadoes in 1678. The most famous name holder may well be the American comedian and film star, the late Jimmy Durante. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Durand. This was dated 1196, in the "Pipe Rolls of Westmoreland", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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