There are at least two possible explanations for this surname. The first is from (the Polish female form of) David, a name recorded in over one hundred spellings, and found throughout Europe. These include examples such as Davina, Davida, David, Daud, Dewi, and Taffe, through to patronymics such as Davidge, Davidovich, and Davitashvili. It owes its popularlity to the Hebrew male given name "David" meaning "beloved", which as a given name has always been very popular with both the Jews and the Christians. The reasons are rather confused, but essentially the original King David, regarded as the greatest of the early kings of Israel, is held upto be a popular hero by both races. The popularity of the name throughout Europe followed the famous "crusades" of the 11th and 12th centuries, when successive generations of kings mounted expeditions to save the Holy Land for Christianity. The second possible origin is from the French names Davenne and Avenne, the former being a fused form. This was an occupational name for a corn merchant from the pre 7th century word 'avoine'. The first known recording of the surname anywhere in the world and in any spelling, was probably that of Robert David, recorded in the English charters known as the "Hundred Rolls" for the county of Leicestershire, in the year 1278. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" in spelling. This has often lead to astonishing variants of the original spelling.