The origin of the name is most interesting with noted authorities disagreeing widely. "Sir Henry Ellis, in his Introduction to Domesday, says: 'The drenchs or drenghs were of the description of allodial tenants, and from the few entries in which they occur, it certainly appears that the allotments of territory which they possessed were held as manors.' But there are proofs of drengage having been far from a free tenure, which both Spelman and Coke consider it; for it appears from the Boldon Book that the services of the drengh were to plough, sow, and harrow a portion of the bishop of Durham's land; to keep a dog and horse for the bishop's use, and a cart to convey his wine; to attend the chase with dogs and ropes, and perform certain harvest works. Spelman says the drengs were such as, being at the Conquest put out of their estate, were afterwards restored. In Lye's Saxon Dictionary, dreng is defined as 'miles,' vir fortis. Halliwell gives a different definition; he says 'Drenges, a class of men who held a rank between the Baron and thayn. Hawelok.' The ordinary interpretation would be Soldiers." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
One fact cannot be disputed; the family was from northern England. "Dring was the name of the mayor of Nottingham in 1651 and 1658 (Deering's 'Nottingham'). As Dreng, it occurred in Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire in the 13th century. There was a family of Dring in Marlborough, Wiltshire, in the 17th century." CITATION[CLOSE]
Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
As far as entries in various rolls, we found the following: Hodgson's History of Northumberland listed Dreng de Trocchelai in 1161 and William filius Patrick Dring in 1219. The Pipe Rolls of Northumberland listed Creng de Calualea in 1161. CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X) Kirby's Quest listed William Dreng in Somerset, temp. 1 Edward III. CITATION[CLOSE]
Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list John Dreng in Yorkshire. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Robertus Dring. CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
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