The Clan/Sept History
The O Dea surname seems to have come from a few sources: it was an occupational
name for a dairy maid in some parts of England and Scotland; it was a derivation
from David; and in some cases the name came from the word eye (d'eye).
Spelling variations of this family name include: Day, Dea, Dey, Daye, Deie and
First found in Somerset. Early citings of this name include Aluric Day, in the
Pipe Rolls for Buckinghamshire, Ralph Deie, in 1211, who was among those listed
in the Register of the Freemen of Leicester.
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were:
Stephen Day who became a prominent merchant in Virginia soon after arriving in
1638. Another Stephen Daye (1594-1668), was the first printer in New England,
and produced the first book printed in the English colonies. Cambridge
Massachusetts granted his three hundred acres of land for "being the first that
sett upon printing." A large contingent of the family also settled in Canada
beginning in the 1840's..
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