This surname of DUTY was a baptismal name 'the son of Dionisia'. The name is also spelt Dyot, Dwight, and Dight. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Magota Duyatt of Yorkshire, who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. William Dwyte was the Mayor of Thetford, County Norfolk in 1511, and Elizabeth, daughter of William Dwoit, was baptised at St. Peter, Cornhill, London in the year 1634. James Clough and Jane Dwight were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1767. Before the 1066 Conquest names were rare in England, the few examples found were mainly adopted by those of the clergy or one who had taken holy orders. In 1086 the conquering Duke William of Normandy commanded the Domesday Book. He wanted to know what he had and who held it, and the Book describes Old English society under its new management in minute detail. It was then that surnames began to be taken for the purposes of tax-assessment. The nobles and the upper classes were first to realise the prestige of a second name, but it was not until the 15th century that most people had acquired a second name. Timothy Dwight (1752-1817) was the American clergyman and educationist, born in Northampton, Massachusetts. He was headmaster of Hopkins Grammar School in New Haven and tutor at Yale from 1771. In 1795 he was elected president of Yale College and professor of divinity. His grandson Timothy(1828-1916) was president of Yale from 1886 to 1899, and a member of the American committee for revising the English Bible. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. Theodore Dwight (1764-1846) was the American journalist and politician, brother of Timothy. He sat in the House of Representatives (1806-07), wrote in support of the Federalist party, edited the Albany 'Daily Advertiser' and founded its New York namesake, which he edited (1817-36). His son Theodore (1796-1866) edited 'Dwight's American Magazine' and wrote travel books.
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