This first element of this unusual name derives from the British (pre - Roman) element Defnas meaning "men of Devon", itself coming from Dumnonii, the name of the Celtic native people which was later transferred to their Saxon conquerors. The second element derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Cumb" meaning "a deep hollow or valley", hence "the valley of the Defnas". Narrow valleys of the coomb type are particularly common in the south west of England, especially in Devonshire. The surname from this location is first recorded in the late 16th Century, (see below). In 1582 Walter De(a)nscombe married an Ellen Bear in Barnstaple, Devon, and on December 25th, 1873 William Stocker Densumbe and Lydia Amelia Hichins were married at Christ Church, Southwark, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edward Densum. which was dated February 16th 1589, christened in St. Katherine by the Tower, London. during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.