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Heraldry Database: Dunn

Dunn







Surname:  Dunn
Branch:  Dunn
Origins:  Scottish
More Info:  Scotland

Background:  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. The Gaelic word `donn', meaning `brown,' was and 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. The variation `Dunn' was an early form of the word, meaning in English, `dark' or `swarthy'. Some of the first settlers of this name or some of its variants were: Robert Dunn was a Loyalist who settled in Nova Scotia in 1785. Stephen Dunn was also a Loyalist who settled in Nova Scotia in 1784. Michael Dunn settled had in Stormont County, Ontario by 1871. John Dunn sailed to Maryland in 1668.


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.


View the Heraldry Dictionary for help.






This interesting surname, found in England, Scotland and Ireland, has a number of possible origins. Firstly, it 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. Secondly, the surname 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, oinn", from "donn", 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. Finally, in Scotland, the surname also derives from this Celtic origin, but may also be locational from the lands of Dun, Tayside (Angus), which derives from "dun", fort. Early recordings include William Dun (1180, Gloucestershire), John le Dun (1198, Hertfordshire), and Adam de Dun (1255, Scotland). 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. 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.

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

References:
One or more of the following publications has been referenced for this article.
The General Armory; Sir Bernard Burke - 1842.
A Handbook of Mottoes; C.N. Elvin - 1860.
Scottish Clans and Tartans; Neil Grant - 2000.
Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia; George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire - 1994.
Scottish Clans and Tartans; Ian Grimble - 1973.
World Tartans; Iain Zaczek - 2001.
Clans and Families of Scotland; Alexander Fulton - 1991.
Surname Database: http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/dunn






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