Durn

Durn - what does Durn surname mean?

This very interesting surname has one origin, but two possible derivative sources. It is locational and its origination is the Olde English `dierne` which translates literally as `the hidden river`, but more likely describes a river in a steep valley, as in the River Dearne in Yorkshire. This is an area which was once heavily wooded and therefore provides the perfect base for a `hidden river`. However the name spelling as `Durn or Durne` is also recorded in France and a Coat of Arms was granted to these nameholders. Furthermore the spelling origination in England in the form `Durn` is much later than `Dearn(e)`, so that it is possible that `Durn` is a French and probably Huguenot Protestant import to England. The name recordings include the following examples: (interestingly, `Durn` does not appear in early Yorkshire records at all) Solomon Deirne, a witness at Christ Church, Spitalfields, London on September 6th 1775, whilst Thomas and Mary Durn were witnesses to their daughter Elizabeth`s christening at St. Mary`s Church, Lambeth on October 22nd 1809, in the reign of George 111 (1760 - 1820). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Michaell Dearne, which was dated April 23rd 1582, married John Grey at St. Dunstan`s Church, Stepney, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as `Good Queen Bess` 1558 - 1603. 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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