This very interesting surname has one origin, but two possible derivative sources. It is locational and its origination is the Olde English "dierne" which translates literally as "the hidden river", but more likely describes a river in a steep valley, as in the River Dearne in Yorkshire. This is an area which was once heavily wooded and therefore provides the perfect base for a "hidden river". However the name spelling as "Durn or Durne" is also recorded in France and a Coat of Arms was granted to these nameholders. Furthermore the spelling origination in England in the form "Durn" is much later than "Dearn(e)", so that it is possible that "Durn" is a French and probably Huguenot Protestant import to England. The name recordings include the following examples: (interestingly, "Durn" does not appear in early Yorkshire records at all) Solomon Deirne, a witness at Christ Church, Spitalfields, London on September 6th 1775, whilst Thomas and Mary Durn were witnesses to their daughter Elizabeth's christening at St. Mary's Church, Lambeth on October 22nd 1809, in the reign of George 111 (1760 - 1820). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Michaell Dearne, which was dated April 23rd 1582, married John Grey at St. Dunstan's Church, Stepney, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "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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