Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Flemish surnames of this type frequently are prefixed by de la or de le, which mean of the or from the. The D'eath family originally lived in the town of Ath in Belgium. There it would have been rendered D'Ath, or De Ath, meaning from Ath. It was also occasionally an occupational name for a gatherer or seller of kindling. In this case, the name is derived from the Old English word dethe, which in turn is derived from the Old English word dyth, which means fuel or tinder. Occupational names frequently were derived from the principal object associated with the activity of the original bearer, such as tools or products. These types of occupational surnames are called metonymic surnames.
"'Death' was a common character in the medieval mysteries or miracle plays: but this surname is probably derived from a local source." CITATION[CLOSE]
Early Origins of the D'eath family
Kent at Knowlton and North Cray, where the family held lands since ancient times. However, earlier records of the family were found scattered through Britain including: Robert Deth who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Bedfordshire in 1196; Roger Deth, who was listed in Cheshire in 1221; and Gilbert Deth who was listed in the Assize Rolls of Somerset in 1272. CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X) This author postulates that while the Belgium origin is clearly possible, the name was scattered and accordingly could have also have been derived from the occupation, rather than just as a local surname.
Early History of the D'eath family
Another 122 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1678, 1745, 1707, 1708, 1773, 1750, 1808, 1808 and 1904 are included under the topic Early D'eath History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
D'eath Spelling Variations
Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Daeth, D'Aeth, D'Eath, Death, Darth, Dath and others.
Early Notables of the D'eath family (pre 1700)
Baronet (1678-1745) of Knowlton in the County of Kent. He married Elizabeth Narborough, daughter of Rear-Admiral Sir John Narborough. Sir John along with his two Narborough stepsons died at sea in the Scilly naval disaster of 1707. His flagship...
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Migration of the D'eath family to Ireland
Some of the D'eath family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 180 words (13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the D'eath family to the New World and Oceana
Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name D'eath or a variant listed above:
D'eath Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
D'eath Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
D'eath Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
Contemporary Notables of the name D'eath (post 1700)
Historic Events for the D'eath family
D'eath Family Crest Products