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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Irish-Alt, Irish, Italian, Scottish

Where did the English Dean family come from? What is the English Dean family crest and coat of arms? When did the Dean family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Dean family history?

The ancestors of the bearers of the Dean family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found in an area where there was a valley. The place-name is derived from the Old English word denu, when translated means valley. This Old English word has also given rise to other local names such as West Dean in Sussex, Deane in Hampshire and Dean in Essex.


Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Dean include Dean, Deane, Dene, Deans, Deanes, Denes, Adeane and others.

First found in Sussex where the first record was of Ralph Dene holding manor and estates in that shire.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dean research. Another 203 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1350, 1400, 1628, 1899, 1440, 1503, 1509, 1547, 1610, 1653, 1638, 1721, 1676, 1708 and are included under the topic Early Dean History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 125 words(9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dean Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Dean family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 159 words(11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Dean or a variant listed above:

Dean Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Stephen Dean, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1621
  • Walter Dean, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1637
  • Wm Dean, who landed in Virginia in 1637
  • Nich Dean, who arrived in Virginia in 1654
  • Nicholas Dean settled in Virginia in 1654

Dean Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Eliz Dean, who landed in Virginia in 1703
  • Jeams Dean, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Jeany Dean, who landed in Virginia in 1705
  • Daniel Dean, who landed in New England in 1725
  • Barzillai Dean, who landed in New England in 1745

Dean Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Alexander Dean, who landed in New York in 1801
  • Thomas Dean, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808
  • Hugh Dean, who arrived in New York in 1810
  • Stewart Dean, who landed in Maryland in 1812
  • Ramo Dean, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1829

Dean Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Ephrane W Dean, who arrived in Arkansas in 1900


  • Bashford Dean (1867-1928), American zoologist and armor expert
  • Jerome Hanna "Dizzy" Dean (1910-1974), American pitcher in Major League Baseball, the last National League pitcher to win 30 games in one season and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953
  • Howard Brush Dean III (b. 1948), American physician and Democratic politician, governor of Vermont from 1991-2003
  • James Byron Dean (1931-1955), American film actor and cultural icon, best known for his starring role in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) for which he was the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination
  • John Wesley Dean III (b. 1938), American White House Counsel to United States President Richard Nixon and deeply involved in the Watergate scandal cover up
  • Major-General Herbert Reynolds Dean (1882-1970), American Director of Selective Service Rhode Island (1940-1945)
  • Major-General William Frishe Dean (1899-1981), American Deputy Commanding General 6th Army (1955), last military governor of South Korea in 1947-1948
  • Nathan Dean (1934-2013), American politician, Senator Georgia Assembly (1975-2004)
  • Joe Dean (1930-2013), American basketball player, inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012
  • William Ralph "Dixie" Dean (1907-1980), English football player and the most prolific goal-scorer in English football history



  • A Family Tree in America: Being a Genealogical Story of the Families of Deane (also Dean), Putnam, Boynton, Gager, Bull, and Allied Families From the Year 1630 by Frank Putnam Deane.
  • My Maternal Ancestry: Dean, Matlock, Hale, Gahr Families in Tennesseeand Missouri by Melba Wood.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Forti et fideli nihil difficile
Motto Translation: To the brave and faithful man nothing is difficult.



  1. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  4. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  5. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  6. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  9. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  11. ...

The Dean Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dean Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 30 August 2014 at 17:39.

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