Prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Englishmen had no surnames. People were called by their occupations, places of birth, or from a personal peculiarity. Some examples: Tom the Miller; James the Smith; and Carpenter, Painter, White, Black, Brown, etc. The name Dew is thought to be of Celt origin, with a meaning of black or dark complexion.
The name has been spelled Dewe, Dew, Due, Dhu, Deu, Deugh. The name in old records has been spelled in different ways. Sometimes it is spelled in two or more ways in the same document.
It is assumed that the family is of very ancient Celtic origin, and that the name was originally Dhu. It is probable that the family descended from Roderick the Great, King of all Wales, and his son Howell Dhu, the Good, who died in 947. Dhu in Celtic, Gaelic and Welsh means black or of a dark complexion. It is assumed that Howell Dhu, the Good, had a dark complexion which, no doubt he inherited from the dark-skinned Romans who invaded Britain about 43 AD.
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