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

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

The ancestors of the Dent surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in the places named Dent in Cumberland and West Yorkshire. Dent is a local surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. There are a variety of types of local surnames, some of which include: topographic surnames, which could be given to a person who lived beside any physical feature, such as a hill, stream, church or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. The surname Dent comes from a British hill name, which is cognate with the Old Irish words dinn or dind, which mean hill. The earliest records of the surname Dent found bearers of the name to be in Yorkshire, on the border of Westmorland (now part of Cumbria).

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Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Dent include Dent, Dente, Dentt, Dentte and others.

First found in West Riding of Yorkshire (now Cumbria) at Dent, a village and civil parish in the parish of Sedbergh, in Dentdale, a narrow valley on the western slopes of the Pennines. The origin of the place name is uncertain; it may have been a river name, but was first recorded as Denet c. 1202 .[1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dent research. Another 147 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1131, 1630 and 1676 are included under the topic Early Dent History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 43 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dent Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Dent Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Francis Dent settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1630
  • Francis Dent, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1634
  • Jo Dent, aged 30, arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • Rich and Jo Dent who were banished to Barbados in 1635
  • Rich Dent, aged 17, arrived in Barbados in 1635


Dent Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Catherine Dent, who arrived in Virginia in 1715
  • Hainsworth Dent settled in Annapolis Maryland in 1726
  • Samuel Dent, who landed in Barbados in 1773

Dent Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • John Dent, who landed in America in 1806
  • George Dent, who landed in America in 1811
  • Robert Dent, who landed in New York in 1825
  • Thomas Dent settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1844
  • J P Dent, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850


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  • John Herman Dent, Democrat member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania
  • Frederick Dent, American Diplomat, Ambassador and Trade negotiator
  • Russell Earl "Bucky" Dent (b. 1951), American born Russell Earl O'Dey, a former Major League Baseball player and manager
  • Taylor Phillip Dent (b. 1981), American professional tennis player
  • Richard Lamar Dent (b. 1960), former American football defensive end, MVP of Super Bowl XX
  • Charles "Charlie" Dent (b. 1960), Republican member of the United States House of Representatives
  • Vernon Bruce Dent (1895-1963), American comic actor who often played the irascible foil to the Three Stooges
  • Lester Dent (1904-1959), American pulp fiction author, best known for his "Doc Savage" books
  • Edward "E.J." Joseph Dent (1876-1957), English musician
  • Joseph Malaby Dent (1849-1926), English publisher who produced the Everyman's Library series

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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: Concordia et industria
Motto Translation: By concord and industry.

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  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. 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.
  2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  4. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  5. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  6. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  9. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  10. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  11. ...

The Dent Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dent 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 1 October 2013 at 11:14.

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