Last name: DEATH

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All you have to know about the last name DEATH

Last name frequency

DEATH : This last name is indexed 34,312 times on Geneanet!

Origin of last name

DEATH : apparently from Middle English deeth deth Old English dēaþ ‘death’ perhaps for someone who played the part of Death in a local pageant.The figure of Death occurs for example in the Chester mystery cycle. The traditional pronunciation of this surname in modern times is /di:θ/ (Deeth) which would be a normal development of Old English dēaþ besides the usual modern pronunciation of the word as /dɛθ/. In Middle English Kent dialect the word is also found as diath. The spellings with an apostrophe de'Ath de Ath D'Eath De Aeth etc. are modern introduced perhaps to dissociate the name from the negative connotations of the word and to give it an appearance of gentry status. Sir Thomas D'eath 1723 in TNA was MP for Canterbury and Sandwich and 1st Baronet D'Aeth of Knowlton (Kent). He is perhaps descended from the Death family that is recorded in the Farnborough and Dartford area since the 16th century. Such re-spellings became more popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Sampson Death aged 30 miller in Census 1841 (Roydon Essex) appears as Sampson De'Ath aged 71 born in Roydon (Essex) in Census 1881 (Bishop Stortford Herts). Martha Ann Death born in Great Waldingfield Suffolk in Census 1841 (Alpheton Suffolk) appears as Martha A. De'ath in Census 1881 (Buckingham Bucks).

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