This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is an occupational name for a dyer of cloth. The derivation of the name is from the Middle English "dyer" (Olde English pre 7th Century "deagere", from "deag", dye), dyer. A dyer was one who changed the colour of something, for example cloth, hair or skin, by application of a dye, which is a staining or colouring substance, such as a natural or synthetic pigment. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. Robert le Deyare is registered in the 1275 Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire; Alexander Dyghere is listed in the 1296 Subsidy Rolls of Sussex; and Henry le Dyer is noted in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Derbyshire. Bryan Dyer and Wenefrid Ketton were married on June 3rd 1583, at Enfield, London, and the marriage of Thomas Dyer and Margaret Gibson took place at St. Mary at Hill, London, on August 27th 1593. In March 1634, John Dyer, aged 28 yrs., departed from the Port of London, aboard the "Christian" bound for New England. He was one of the earliest of the namebearers in the New World. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a gold shield with a red chief indented, the Crest being out of a gold ducal coronet a silver goat's head armed gold. The Motto, "Terrere nolo timere nescio", translates as, "I wish not to intimidate, and know not how to fear". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry le Deghar, Somerset, which was dated 1260, in the "Middle English Surnames of Occupation", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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