Davinay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 added many new elements to an already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Davinay family lived in Leicestershire. The family was originally from Abene, where they held a castle, near Louvaine, Normandy, and it is from the local form of that name, D'Abene which means from Abene, that their name derives. Another important English house of the same name comes from Aubigny, Brittany. Their name is of identical local derivation. 
Early Origins of the Davinay family
The surname Davinay was first found in Leicestershire at Belvoir, a village and civil parish in the Melton district. Belvoir literally means "beautiful view" derived from the Old French words bel + vedeir. 
Another source is more specific: "Amongst the most distinguished companions in arms of the Conqueror was Robert de Todeni, a nobleman of Normandy, upon whom the victorious monarch conferred, with numerous other grants, an estate in the county of Lincoln upon the borders of Leicestershire. Here De Todeni erected a stately castle, and from the fair view it commanded, gave it the designation of Belvoir Castle, and here he established his chief abode. He died in 1088, and was succeeded by his eldest son William, who assumed the surname of Albini or Aubeney, and acquired great renown at the celebrated Battle of Tenercheby, in Normandy, where, commanding the horse, he charged the enemy with so much spirit that he determined at once the fate of the day. " 
It was here that William d'Aubigny (Brito) (d. after 1148), was an itinerant justice under King Henry I of England and was granted the lands where he built Belvoir Castle, which is now a restored stately home. He fought at the Battle of Tinchebray (1106) and was in favor of King Henry I. His grandson, William d'Aubigny or D'Aubeney or d'Albini, Lord of Belvoir (died 1236) was High Sheriff of Warwickshire and Leicester and High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire in 1199. 
Wymondham or Windham in Norfolk was an early family seat. "This town derives its name from the Saxon Win Munde Ham, signifying 'a pleasant village on a mount;' and is indebted for its importance to the foundation of a priory of Black monks, at first a cell to the abbey of St. Alban's, by William d'Albini or Daubeny, in 1130." 
To the south in the parish of Lanteglos, Cornwall, "the manor of Polruan belonged to the Daubeny family, to whose interest it was indebted for its market, from the year 1291 to 1420; after which it passed to the Molins, and was then inherited by Lord Hungerford." 
Early History of the Davinay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Davinay research. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1109, 1176, 1150, 1193, 1167, 1221, 1203, 1224, 1264, 1305, 1305, 1342, 1386, 1371, 1403, 1494, 1548, 1451, 1507, 1670 and 1707 are included under the topic Early Davinay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Davinay Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Daubeney, Daveney, Dabney, Daubeny, Debney, Dalbini, Dibney, Dybney, Dobney, Daughby, Dawbeney, Dawby and many more.
Early Notables of the Davinay family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Giles Daubeny or Daubeney, 1st Baron Daubeney KG (1451-1507), an English soldier, diplomat, courtier and politician. He was "descended from the ancient Norman family of de Albini, whose ancestor Robert de Todeni came to England with the Conqueror and built Belvoir Castle...
Migration of the Davinay family
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Davinay or a variant listed above: Thomas Dabney who settled in Barbados in 1654; John Dabney arrived in New York in 1820; Darby Davenney settled in Philadelphia in 1858; Alexander D'Aubiney settled in New England in 1775.