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

Origins Available: English, Irish

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

The name Dyer comes from a name for a deer, where in early times it was used as a term of endearment. The surname Dyer originally derived from the Old English Dyri. The name could also have been derived from the Old English word deag, which meant "dye." As a surname, Dyer was likely an occupational name for a "dyer of cloth."

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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 Dyer include Dyer, Dyers, Dyar, Dier, Dyars, Dieres, Dire, Dires and many more.

First found in Oxfordshire where they held a family seat from very early times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dyer research. Another 295 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1273, 1260, 1333, 1382, 1543, 1607, 1596, 1685, 1680, 1682, 1699, 1757, 1611, 1660 and 1697 are included under the topic Early Dyer History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 309 words(22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dyer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Dyer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 31 words(2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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 Dyer or a variant listed above:

  • Edward, Roger Sarah and Thomas Dyer settled in Barbados in the 17th century

Dyer Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Mary Dyer (circa 1611-1660) was an English-born American Quaker, she was banished, arrested and eventually hanged for the crime of being a Quaker in Massachusetts
  • Abigail Dyer who settled in Nantasket, Massachusetts in 1630
  • George Dyer, who arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Jo Dyer, aged 28, arrived in America in 1634
  • Ananiah Dyer, aged 24, arrived in Virginia in 1635


Dyer Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Eliz Dyer, who landed in Virginia in 1704
  • Jeffery Dyer, who landed in Virginia in 1706
  • Cornelius Dyer, who arrived in Virginia in 1713
  • Eliz Catherina Dyer, aged 32, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738
  • Maria Dyer, aged 52, landed in Pennsylvania in 1738


Dyer Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Daniel Dyer, aged 31, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Samuel Dyer, aged 20, landed in New York in 1812
  • John B Dyer, who landed in Mississippi in 1848
  • Patrick Dyer, aged 20, landed in New York in 1849
  • Patrick Dyer, who arrived in New York in 1849


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  • Eliphalet Dyer (1721-1807), American jurist
  • Mike Dyer (b. 1966), American Major League Baseball player
  • John Hugh "Buddy" Dyer (b. 1958), Florida State Senator and mayor of Orlando
  • Captain Jesse Farley Dyer (1877-1955), American Medal of Honor recipient
  • Charles Dyer (b. 1928), English playwright, screenwriter, and actor
  • Thomas Henry Dyer (1804-1888), English historical and antiquarian writer
  • Danny Dyer (b. 1977), English actor
  • Kieron Dyer (b. 1978), English professional soccer player
  • George Dyer (1755-1841), English classicist and a prolific writer, man of letters
  • Mr. Henry Ryland Dyer (d. 1912), aged 24, English Senior Assistant 4th Engineer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking

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  • Dyer Family History from England to America, 1600's-1980: Virginia and Southern Dyer Families by Watson B. Dyer.
  • Hebron Dyer Descendants: Pioneer of Ohio by Franklin Leallah.
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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: Terrere nolo, timere nescio
Motto Translation: I wish not to intimidate, and know not how to fear.

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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  3. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  6. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  7. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  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. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  11. ...

The Dyer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dyer 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 15 April 2014 at 14:28.

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