- This famous surname recorded in almost every European country since the late Middle Ages, and in such forms as Dennis, Dionis, and Denes, with patronymics Addionisio, Denisov, and Dzeniskevich, is of pre Christian, Ancient Greek origins. It derives from "Dionysios" meaning "the divine one of Nysa", a reference to an early god, who was believed to be the protector of the vine. It is also said that Nysa was a mountain in the modern Afghanistan, where celebrations were held by the Greek army of Alexander, The Great. Whilst St Denis, the bishop of Paris, France, was an early Christian martyr of the 3rd century a.d., it must be said that like most surnames of Christian origins, the "modern" surname owes its popularity to the famous "crusades" of the 12th century, when successive European kings launched expeditions to free the Holy Land from the Saracens. All were unsuccessful, but returning warriors and pilgrims commemorated their exploits by naming their children after ancient or biblical heroes, some of whom only had the very faintest of associations with Christianity. The first country in the world to adopt both hereditary surnames and proper register recordings was England, and it is there that we find the earliest examples of this surname. The first recording of the family name anywhere in the world and in any spelling is believed to be that of Walter Denys, a witness in the year 1272, at the Assize Court of the county of Staffordshire. This was during the reign of King Henry 111 of England, 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" in their spellings, often leading to astonishing variants of the original.
Surnames reference. 2013.
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Denys — may refer to: People with the given name Denys: Denys Andriyenko (born 1980), Ukrainian footballer Denys Arcand (born 1941), Canadian film director, screenwriter and producer Denys Baptiste (born 1969), jazz musician Denys Bouliane (born 1955),… … Wikipedia
Denys — Denys the Carthusian † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Denys the Carthusian (DENYS VAN LEEUWEN, also LEUW or LIEUWE). Born in 1402 in that part of the Belgian province of Limburg which was formerly comprised in the county of Hesbaye; died … Catholic encyclopedia
Denys — [də nē′] Saint see DENIS2 Saint … English World dictionary
Denys — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Pour les articles homonymes, voir Denis. Dionysios ou Dionysius, souvent francisé en Denys (du grec ancien Διονύσιος / Dionýsios) est un prénom … Wikipédia en Français
Denys, St.  — St. Denys, s. Dionysius … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
Denys, St.  — St. Denys, Stadt, so v.w. St. Denis … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
Denys — Denis ou Denys (saint) évangélisateur des Gaules, premier évêque de Paris (v. 250). Il fut martyrisé … Encyclopédie Universelle
Denys — biographical name see Denis … New Collegiate Dictionary
Denys — /den is/; Fr. /deuh nee /, n. Saint. See Denîs, Saint. * * * … Universalium
Denys — noun an alternative spelling of Denis … Wiktionary