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Family spelling variants includes Days, D'eye, Dey, Daye

DAY Family History


This is a very interesting surname. Altough usually English, it has two possible origins. This first is as a derivative of the famous personal name "David", a popular given name throughout the British Isles during the Middle Ages. Derived from the Hebrew word meaning "beloved", it was one of a large group of similar biblical names introduced into Europe from the Holy Land by the famous crusaders of the 12th century. Its popularity was due in part to the fame of the king of Israel, and much later to its being the name of the patron saint of Wales. It was also the name of two kings of Scotland: These were David 1st, who reigned from 1124 - 1153, and David 11nd, 1329 - 1371...

Day (Variants: Daye, Dey, D'Eye, Days)

In English, from a pet form of David.

From the Middle English personal name Day(e) or Dey(e), Old English Dæi, possibly from Old English dæg ‘day’, also perhaps a short form of Old English personal names such as Dægberht and Dægmund.

An occupation name 'the deye' or 'day,' a maid, a dairy-maid 'dairy'. Middle English word day(e), dey(e) ‘dairy maid’, ‘(female) servant’- from Old English, cognate with Old Norse deigja meaning ‘female servant’, ultimately meaning ‘to knead’, and related to the word for dough, which came to be used for a servant of either sex.

Celtic and Gaelic word deag or dagh signifies good, excellent, similarly to Da, in Welsh.

In Irish, an Anglicised form of Gaelic Ó Deaghaidh or Ó Diaghaidh (O’Dea).

In Scottish, an Anglicized form of the Gaelic personal name Daìdh, a colloquial form of David.

In Welsh, from Dai, a pet form of the personal name Dafydd, a Welsh form of David.

A tradition states that a follower of the Conqueror settled at Eye in Suffolk, and assumed therefrom the name of D'Eye or Deye.

From the Old Norse: Dagr. In Swedish: Daug. In German: Dege. In Flemish: Day, Daye; a personal name.

Charles Day, an English convict from Kent, was transported aboard the "Argyle" on 5 March 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia.

In 1891, the surname was recorded in England and Wales with 30,011 occurrences and a further 314 in Scotland.

In 1881, it was widespread in England, particularly the agricultural counties. Kent was a top county of the surname with 1,782 occurrences and a top surname in the parish of Meopham. Further North, the county of Hertfordshire had 869 occurrences and was a top surname in the parish of Stevenage. Cambridgeshire had 608 occurrences, a top surname in the parish of Hildersham.

In 1881, the most common Day occupation in the UK was Agricultural Labourer, along with Labourer and Farmer being the top 3 reported jobs worked by Day. A less common occupation was Carpenter.

Doris Day (1924-2019), born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff, an American actress, singer, and animal rights activist, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004. Also, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winning.

Another noted, Jason Day (b. 1987), an Australian professional golfer who won the 2015 PGA Championship, with a total score of 268 (−20), at the time the lowest score in relation to par ever recorded in a major.

1881, 1891 Census

1881 Census in Kent, Hertfordshire, Cambridgshire

Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003

Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890

The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016

1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain

1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain



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