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

Origins Available: English, German

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

The origins of the Anglo-Saxon name Dare come from its first bearer, who was a person who acted like an animal as the name was originally derived from the word deor, which meant "wild animal." In the Middle Ages, nicknames often described strong traits or features of animals. In the pre-Christian era, many pagan gods and demigods were believed to be a mixture of animals and humans, such as the Greek god Pan who was the god of flocks and herds and was represented as a man with the legs, horns and ears of a goat. In the Middle Ages, anthropomorphic ideas, which attributed human qualities and form to gods or animals. They were based on the creature's habits. Moreover, these associations were reflected in folk tales, mythology, and legends which portrayed animals behaving as humans.


The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Dare has been spelled many different ways, including Dare, Dair and others.

First found in Essex where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dare research. Another 242 words(17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dare History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Dare Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Dare family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 117 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Dares to arrive in North America:

  • Virginia Dare (1587-) was the first child of English parents born in America

Dare Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • James Dare, who arrived in Maryland in 1662
  • Michael Dare who settled in Virginia in 1663
  • Margaret Dare, who landed in Maryland in 1673
  • Ann Dare, who landed in Maryland in 1674
  • William Dare, who arrived in Maryland in 1678

Dare Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Edward Dare, who arrived in Virginia in 1701

Dare Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Samuel Dare arrived in New York in 1820
  • Eleanor Dare, who landed in Virginia in 1887
  • Ananias Dare, who arrived in Virginia in 1887
  • Vicente Dare, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1896


  • Danny Dare (1905-1996), American choreographer, actor, director, writer, and producer of the stage, screen, and film
  • Johnny Dare, American radio personality
  • Dorothy Dare (1911-1981), American film actress and singer
  • Leona Dare (1854-1922), stage name of Susan Adeline Stuart, American trapeze artist and aerial acrobat, billed as the "Queen of the Antilles" and the "Pride of Madrid"
  • Virginia Dare (b. 1587), the first child of English parents born in America. She disappeared with other members of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island in Virginia
  • Phyllis Dare (1890-1975), English singer and actress
  • Billy Dare (1927-1994), English footballer
  • Zena Dare (1887-1975), English singer and actress
  • Bill Dare, English producer and devisor of radio and television comedy programmes
  • Airton Dare (b. 1978), Brazilian race car driver



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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  5. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  6. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  9. 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.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  11. ...

The Dare Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dare 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 16 July 2014 at 21:01.

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