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Dunn Genealogy and Dunn Family History Information

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About the Dunn surname

Origin

"This interesting surname, found in England, Scotland and Ireland, has a number of possible origins.

"Early recordings include William Dun (1180, Gloucestershire), John le Dun (1198, Hertfordshire), and Adam de Dun (1255, Scotland).

"The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gillananaomh O'Duinn, which was dated 1102, in the "Ancient Irish Records", during the reign of Irish High Kings in Opposition, 1103 - 1169.

"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."

"Name Variations: Dun, Dunn, O'Duinn, Duinn, Doinn, Dunne, de Dun, O'Dunn, O'Dunne."

Meaning

English

"The surname Dunn may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, from the Olde English pre 7th Century and Middle English dunn, meaning "dull, brown, dark-coloured", and was a nickname for a man with dark hair or a swarthy complexion. It may also have originated from an unrecorded Middle English survival of an Olde English byname, Dunna, "dark."

Irish

"The surname Dunn is widespread in Ireland, where it is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic "O'Duinn, Doinn", composed of the Gaelic prefix "O", male descendant of, and the personal name "Duinn, Doinn", from donn, meaning "black," "brown," a byname given to someone with dark hair or swarthy complexion, as above.

"In Ireland the name is usually spelt "Dunne", and the sept originated in County Leix and formed one of the principal families of Leinster where their chief was the Lord of Iregan; they were especially mentioned in mid 16th Century documents as hostile and dangerous to the English interest. Those who spelt their name Dunn usually came from Ulster, where they were possibly of Scottish extraction."

Scottish

"The surname Dunn is common in the eastern Lowland regions of Scotland, and is said to be derived from the land of Dun, a fort in Angus not far from Montrose. This place name is derived from the Scottish Gaelic dùn, meaning "fort".

"Another origin of the surname is from the Gaelic donn, meaning "brown." It is as common a nickname in the Highlands of Scotland, as it is in several countries (in their respective languages) in the world. Brown eventually became a Scottish surname in its own right; so did Donn or Dunn, with Dunn becoming the more prominent spelling."

Heraldry

English

  • "A Coat of Arms granted to a Dunn Family in Bircher, near Leominster, depicts quarterly first and second silver, a gold wolf salient, second and third, black three round gold buckles, tongues downward."

Irish

  • Gold bird (phoenix? eagle?) on a blue shield.

Scottish

  • "Motto: Mecum habito, Dwell with me."
  • "Arms: A red shield with a sword between two gold buckles in fess, and three gold locks."
  • "Crest: A right hand holding a gold key in bend sinister."

Source