Devinay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Devinay was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. The ancestors of the Devinay 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. [1]

Early Origins of the Devinay family

The surname Devinay 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. [2]

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." [3]

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." [4]

Early History of the Devinay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Devinay 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 Devinay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Devinay Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Devinay has been recorded under many different variations, including Daubeney, Daveney, Dabney, Daubeny, Debney, Dalbini, Dibney, Dybney, Dobney, Daughby, Dawbeney, Dawby and many more.

Early Notables of the Devinay 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...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Devinay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Devinay family

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Devinays were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: 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.



  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print


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