Origins of the surname Dinnis

I went to the local library this week and took out a book about the origins of British surnames. (Oxford English Surnames) I found ‘Dinnis’ was listed in there in the same origins as Denis, Denniss, Denness, Dennes, Dennis, and all the other names I’ve battled with while searching the England Census and various local directories.

The origins of the surname Dinnis

The origins of the surname Dinnis

The main meaning seems to come from the ancient Latin ‘Dionysius’. The name rang a bell, but no more than that, so I looked it up online and found the website:

Under the heading ‘Dinnis’ is the following information: ‘This name, with variant spellings Denis, Denniss, Denness and Dinnis, derives  from the Medieval given name Den(n)is, itself coming from the Greek Dionysios  meaning “the divine one of Nysa”. Better known as Bacchus, this god was  protector of the vine. Nysa was a mountain in the modern Afghanistan where  celebrations were held in the god’s honour by the Greek army. The name was  recorded as Dionisius in documents relating to the Danelaw, circa 1100. One,  Denis de Sixlea appears in the 1176 “Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire”. The surname is  first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century, St.  Dionysius or Denis of Paris, martyred on Montmartre circa 255, was largely  responsible for the popularity of the name in France from whence it spread to  England. Sir Thomas Dennis (1480 – 1561) was Chancellor of Anne of Cleves and  Keeper of the Rolls of Devon. The first recorded spelling of the family name is  shown to be that of Walter Denys, witness, which was dated 1272, in the “The  Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire”, during the reign of King Henry 111, known  as “The Frenchman”, 1216 – 1272. 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.’

About Jackie Dinnis

Welcome to my blog where I am enjoying meeting my family - past and present - one at a time. Join me as I learn who my ancestors were, where they lived, what their occupations were and what everyday life was like for them.
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4 Responses to Origins of the surname Dinnis

  1. So, in other words, your name comes from the God of wine? 🙂

  2. Sheryl says:

    It’s fun to read about the origins of your last name.

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