An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014
Where did the English Dunham family come from? What is the English Dunham family crest and coat of arms? When did the Dunham family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Dunham family history?The ancestry of the name Dunham dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived in the parish of Dunham, in the county of Norfolk. The place-name is made up of two old English elements: dun, which is a word for hill; and ham, which means home. The translation of the name is home on the hill.
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Dunham have been found, including Dunham, Dunnam, Downham, Dounham, Downnam and others.
First found in Norfolk at Downham Market, often referred to as Downham, a town and civil parish. The place dates back to c. 1050 and was listed later in 1086 in the Domesday Book as Dunham. However, there are several more listings of the place name including Little Downham in Cambridgeshire, Downham, Lancashire and Downham, Essex. Downham Estate is a housing estate in Downham, south east London named in honour of Lord Downham, who was chairman of the London County Council between 1919-1920. Downham Hall is an English country house in Downham, Lancashire, but this estate was never held by anyone with the family name.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunham research. Another 305 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1332, 1511, 1577, 1561 and 1577 are included under the topic Early Dunham History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 21 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dunham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Dunham family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 37 words(3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Dunham, or a variant listed above:
Dunham Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century
Dunham Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century
Dunham Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century
The Dunham Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dunham 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 20 December 2013 at 10:51.
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