Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Dunn Name
England, Scotland, Ireland
Origins of Dunn:
The surname of Dunn has many possible origins, rooted in the Irish, English, and Scottish cultures. The first possible origin of the surname of Dunn can be found within the English culture, and derives from the Old English, Pre 7th Century word “dunn” which can be translated to mean “dull,” “dark colored,” or “brown.” This surname was used as a nickname for a man who had a dark complexion, or someone who had dark hair. It is a common element of surnames throughout Europe that many of them originally derived from nicknames, as it was a very common practice in medieval times. In the beginning, nicknames were applied to people who had distinguishing characteristics, such as moral or mental peculiarities, a similar appearance to a bird or animal, a similar disposition to a bird or animal, occupation of an individual, their habits, or their manner of dress. The second possible origin of the surname of Dunn can be found within the country of Ireland. The surname is usually spelled as Dunne, and is also used as a nickname, deriving from the surname “O’Duinn” or “O’ Dunn.” The “O’” prefix at the beginning of this surname is the patronymic form of the surname, meaning that the original bearer of this surname was the son of the one with the dark complexion, or the dark hair. In the country of Scotland, the surname of Dunn may have been used as a locational surname. This means that it was often taken by the Lord or owner of the land from which the name derives. Others who may have take a locational surname are people who have migrated out of the area to seek out work. The easiest way to identify someone who was a stranger at that time was by the name of their birthplace. In this case, the surname of Dunn may have been used to describe one who hailed from Dun, in the county of Angus, which means “fort.”
More common variations are: Dunne, Dun, Dunne, Dunny, Dinn, Dunna, Duann, Dunno, Dunni, Dounn, Dunnu, Daunn
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Dunn was found in the country of Ireland. One person by the name of Gillananaomh O’ Duinn was mentioned in the document named the “Ancient Irish Records” in the year of 1102. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of the Irish High Kings in Opposition, who ruled from the year 1103 to the year 1169.
Those who carry the surname of Dunn within the country of Scotland can be found in high concentrations in the areas of Lanarkshire, Aberdeenshire, and Midlothian.
In the country of England, there is a sizeable population of people who are known by the surname of Dunn. Those who bear the surname of Dunn within the country of England can be found in large populations in the areas of Warwickshire and Staffordshire counties.
United States of America:
Within the United States of America, there are many people who bear the surname of Dunn. The states with the highest number of those who are called Dunn are in Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, and California.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Dunn: United States 162,907; England 28,646; Australia 18,427; Canada 14,343; South Africa 10,776; Scotland 4,364; New Zealand 3,323; Jamaica 1,838; Liberia 1,836; Wales 1,264
Katherine Karen Dunn (1945-2016) who was a best-selling novelist from America whose most notable work would be her book written in the year 1989, Geek Love
Carola Dunn (born in 1946) who is a writer in an America but was born in Britain and who is best known for her Cornish Mystery series as well as her Daisy Dalrymple series
Bob Dunn(1908-1989) who was a Cartoonist from America and who is known best for his comic strip Just the Type which ran from the year 1946 to the year 1963
Adam Troy Dunn (born in 1979) who is a first baseman from America, designated hitter, and outfielder for Major League Baseball
Brigadier-General Beverly Charles Dunn (1888-1970) who was an American who for the North Atlantic Division was and American Division Engineer from the year 1946 to the year 1948
Private First Class Parker F. Dunn, who was a soldier from America who was awarded the Metal of Honor for acts of bravery
Donald “Duck” Dunn, who is a songwriter, producer, and bass guitarist from America
Dunn Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Dunn blazon are the padlock, key, buckle and snake. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, sable and or .
Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” . The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance .
Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur . In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known . Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy .
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa . The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo..
Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used . The ENTRY is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name.
Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used . The key is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. In other cases, Wade suggests that their appearance can be taken to indicate “guardianship and dominion”. 1
Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used . Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. The buckle may fall into this category, it is present in a surprising number of different forms and has a long heritage in use, being considered honourable bearings and are said to “signify victorious fidelity in authority”.