News: Looking for females who are in the pure female lines (mother to daughter) from William and Sarah who are willing to do an mtDNA test. Such a person would be descended along an all female line from Mary DEVIN Biggers or Margaret DEVIN Reynolds. The hope is to identify the markers for Sarah SMITH Devin to help identify her parents. Contact the webmaster if interested.

Devin descendant, Stanley Wayne Devin, passed away at 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 4, 2014. He was the last living child of Ira & Oleta Devin.
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Origin of the Devin Surname

The origin of the Devin surname is not known with any certainity. This article is about the possible origins of the Devin surname.

Currently, there are at least three theories for its origin. The theories center on family stories that the Devin family of Pittsylvania County Virginia in the second half of the Eighteen century (1750-1800) are descendants of French Huguenot refugees who settled in Ireland before coming to the American Colonies. According to “The Devin Family” by Dessa Hoffstetter (1962), the earliest known record of the written Devin name appears on a statement of the mayor of Rouen, France, dated August 12, 1521, giving one Pierre Devin the freedom of the city for services rendered.

  1. The word devin is found in French dictionaries meaning “soothsayer, sage, seer, or foreteller of events.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote an opera Le Devin du Village (The Soothsayer of the Village), first performed before the court at Fontainbleau on 18 October 1752. The theory is that a village sage took Devin as a surname based on his occupation. The counter argument for this theory is soothsayers and fortune tellers too often were considered blasphemous by the major religion at the time surnames were being adopted. It may have not been too healthy to advertise your talents.
  2. Along the lines of taking a surname based on a trade, “de vin” means “of wine” in French. Someone may have adopted “de vin” because they produced or sold wine. “Jacques de Vin” translates as “Jack of wine” to differentiate “Jack the smith” in a village. Over time, the article “de” was combined with “vin,” which has happened with many other surnames.
  3. Some Devin families in Quebec, Canada appear to have their immigrant ancestors from France, so Huguenot refugees with the Devin surname is a possibility. However, recent DNA testing shows common ancestors for the Pittsylvania County Devin families that have origins in northwestern Ireland within genealogical history. Family stories say Devin ancestors came through Ireland from France, so DNA matches out of Ireland is not unexpected. However, it is significant that no one in France has yet been found with close DNA matches.

  4. DNA results show possible common ancestors with the Devine families out of County Donegal, Ireland. Other DNA matches show common ancestors originating from County Tyrone and County Derry in northern Ireland. All three counties adjoin each other. The best known sept whose name is Anglicized as “Devine” is that of The “Ó Daimhín” sept of Fermanagh, who were lords of Tirkennedy until the fifteenth century, has been Anglicized as “Devine.” Another sept whose name is now usually rendered as Devine, Divine, or Divin, is that of “Ó Duibhín” from around County Tyrone and County Derry. [Donn Devine, “Origin of the Kirkneedy Devines”, Jan. 2007]

Owner/SourceDavid D.

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