Recorded in the spellings of Danks, Dankin, Dencs, Denk, Denkel, Denker, Denkin and Dincke, Dinkes and Dinkin, this is a surname of Germanic and Anglo-Saxon origins. It is a nickname or slang form of the early baptismal name 'Daniel', itself derived either from the ancient Hebrew name meaning 'a gift of God' or the German 'Bogdan' which has the same meaning, and may have the same origin. The surname (in England) was originally recorded with the suffix of 'kin or kyn' meaning 'son of Daniel'. Around the begining of the medieval period in the 12th century was also a period of intense Christian revival, and the major kingdoms of Europe joined together in the expeditions called 'The Crusades'. These were designed to free the Holy Land from the infidel Muslim, in which course of action they were singularly unsuccessful! Be that as it may, it became the fashion for returning Crusaders to call their children by names associated with the Bible. 'Daniel' was prominent amongst these names, and a wide range of nicknames or short forms grew up around it, their numbers being vastly increased by a combination of local dialects and clerical error at a time when only two people out of every hundred could spell theor own name. In addition surnames often did not become hereditary until the son adopted the fathers name, hence in this instance Dan(iel) was the original form, and it became hereditary by the addition of 'kin'. The earliest known example of this surname in any spelling is probably that of Adam Dankyn of Somerset, recorded in the famous records known as 'Kirby's Quest' in the year 1273. Early recordings taken from surviving records and showing the surname development include: Christal Denkel of Konstanz in 1464, Johan Denk of Oberplatz, also Germany, in 1490, Ysabell Dinke, christened at St Margarets, Westminster, on March 25th 1568, and Roger Denke, who married Eleanor Palmer at Bathford, Somerset, on February 12th 1662. Other interesting recordings include Jacob Denkin, a witness at St. Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on August 15th 1627, and Ward Denkes, christened at St Brides church, Fleet Street, London, on June 14th 1654.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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