This interesting German surname is a developed form of the ancient "clegen" or the Anglo-Saxon "thegn" meaning "a warrior" or later - "one of noble birth". The origins date back to pre-Christianity, although as a surname the dating is from the 11th Century onwards. Not surprisingly the name as both an early baptismal name and a later surname, was very popular, and several variant spellings developed including - Dehn, Diehn, Denecke, Denicke, with patronymics - Dehns, Dehning etc. and diminutives Deinlein, Theinel and Deindl, the latter being of Bavarian origins. The most popular variant is probably "Deinhard", a compound translating as literally "The hardy warrior". Recordings include Leonara Ilse Diehn, daughter of Johann Diehn on June 19th 1768, at Gross Laasch, Schwerin, Meclen-Burg, Germany. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Garston Diehn, which was dated November 14th 1670, married Anna Halstein at Brunstorff, Schleswig - Holstein, during the reign of Emperor Leopold 1 of the Holy Roman Empire, 1658 - 1705. 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.