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Our 2,745 members have registered
2,397 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

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About the study

Like many one name studies mine started as a genealogical one back in 1983 and I have been able to trace my own family line back to approx. 1731. Because of the unique Dyos spelling I have collected data on every instance of the name and in doing so, have found that 80% are related to me. So without intending to do so I had already started a one-name study. I then took the leap to becoming a formal one name study and registered with GOONS in 2009.

I work full time and am restricted in the amount of time I can devote to this passion, but do when possible get to visit the necessary archives I need to access for information which is not web based, or for checking purposes. But most of all I just love receiving contact from other Dyos members.

Variant names

I have found some crossover with the Dyas name, especially in Shropshire in the 1700'€™s and I suspect that at some point I will have to include the variant of Dyas which is far more common than Dyos. It is so easy to see how this cross over happens when consulting old handwritten registers and documents, but the instances found so far are very small and not enough at present to make me take on the Dyas variation. There are also a few Dyoss variants which I am looking at separately and have yet to decide whether to register these.

Name origin

Part of my original genealogical quest was to prove or refute the family myth that we were descended from a shipwrecked Spanish Armada sailor. The answer to this is still eluding me. Personally I am leaning towards the origin possibly being of Spanish or Greek from Dios, or even French, and there is speculation within the Dyos clan that it may even be occupational from the dyers trade. The oldest references to the name are from the 1580/90'€™s in London, Hereford and Shropshire and I have still to identify the relationships from there to where my related family resided in large numbers in Laleham, Middlesex from the 1730'€™s. So the emergence of the name in the 1590'€™s could yet tie in with the Armada myth.

Historical occurrences of the name

The most eminent Dyos has been Harold John Dyos - 1921-1978. After serving as a Captain in the Royal Artillery, he embarked on a part time BSc in Economics with the London School of Economics and graduated with upper second-class honours in 1949. He obtained a PhD there in 1952 -€“ his thesis being on the suburban development of Victorian South London. He became a lecturer in economic history at the University of Leicester in 1952 and Professor of Urban History there in 1973. He has produced several publications as author and editor. The University of Leicester Library holds a collection of his papers which are currently being catalogued.

Name frequency

From my own personal census data sets I have 75 Dyos'€™s for 1881 so this gives a frequency of 1 in 346,244 or 0.00029%. For 1901 this increases to 111 Dyos'€™s giving a frequency of 1 in 293,027 or 0.00034%.

Distribution of the name

The most densely populated counties in 1881 were Middlesex 47%, London 35% and Surrey 17%. In 1901 this has changed slightly to Middlesex 40%, London 38% and Surrey 12%.


I have submitted my lists of births, marriages and deaths from 1837 to the Guild archive. I also have pre 1837 parish lists which I am preparing for submission. I have data for all censuses from 1841 to 1911 which is still being worked upon.


I have not yet been tempted to delve into this area, so no plans at present to pursue this.