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DISMORE FAMILY TREE    by  Richard J. Dismore of South Africa


What’s in a name?

The DISMORE surname is of old French origin, introduced into England after the Norman conquest of 1066. The derivation of the name is from the old French "dix" for ten and "marks" the unit of currency. There are two theories concerning its origin.

The first has it that it was the nickname for someone who was especially good at something, especially sport, and received ten marks as a prize. If this is so then the surname belongs to that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of personal characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, including supposed resemblances to an animal’s or bird’s appearance or disposition, or to habits of dress and occupation.

The second explanation relates to the fact that surnames became necessary when personal taxation was introduced such as in England known as the poll tax. Thus at the time of the Domesday book it is believed that the valuation of our ancestor’s worldly wealth for the purpose of tithe’s was ten marks. The first permanent surnames were those of the nobility and wealthy landowners, the practice was then emulated by the middle and working classes seeking status leading to the widespread use of surnames. Thus "Dixmarks" became Dimars and then Dismore

The first recorded spelling of the name is shown to be that of Robert Dimars dated 1220 in the "Berkshire book of fees" during the reign of King Henry III, known as "The Frenchman", 1216-1272.

Recordings of the surname from English Church registers include; Elizabeth Dismore, who married Bartholomew Mobs on September 9th 1683 at St James’s, Dukes place, London; John son of Henry Dismore, who was christened on December 20th 1686 at Malden, Surrey; and Thomas Dismore, who married Elizabeth Loveday on November 24th 1687, at St James’s, Dukes place, London.



Mark Andrew Davis - Genealogist


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