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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: Jewish, Scottish


One of the most common classes of Scottish surnames is the patronymic surname, which arose out of the vernacular and religious naming traditions. The vernacular or regional naming tradition is the oldest and most pervasive type of patronymic surname. According to this custom, names were originally composed of vocabulary elements from the local language. Patronymic surnames of this type were usually derived from the personal name of the original bearer's father. The surname Daniels is derived from the ancient name Daniel, which means God has judged.

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Scottish surnames are distinguished by a multitude of spelling variations because, over the centuries, the names were frequently translated into and from Gaelic. Furthermore, the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent because medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. The different versions of a surname, such as the inclusion of the patronymic prefix "Mac", frequently indicated a religious or Clan affiliation or even a division of the family. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into Scotland, accelerating accentuating the alterations to various surnames. The name Daniels has also been spelled Daniels, Daniell, Daneil, Danyell, Danel, Daniers, Danyei and many more.

First found in Gloucestershire where Alicia Daniel was one of the first records of the name was found temp. Henry III to Edward I. Simon Danyel was later found in Somerset. [1] "The church [of Beckingon, Somerset] contains the remains of Samuel Daniel, poet-laureate and historian, who died here in 1619." [2] Some of the family were found in Yorkshire in early times. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list: Beatrix Danyell; Robertus Danyell; Thomas Daniell; Oliva Danyl; and Teffan Danyll. [1] "In Devonshire the name of Daniel is now best represented in the Holsworthy district. There was a John Daneyll, of "Brighe broke," in the hundred of Wonford, Devon, in the 13th century." [3] Up in Scotland, the surname recorded in Aberdeen as both a forename and surname. "Daniel, son of Herleuine, witnessed a charter by Uchtred, son of Fergus, lord of Galloway, c. 1166, and another early individual of the name gave origin to the ancient barony of Danzielstoun in the parish of Kilmalcolm. By the Gaels this name was adopted as an equivalent for Donald." [4]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Daniels research. Another 479 words (34 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1198, 1148, 1279, 1379, 1789, 1562, 1619, 1626, 1681, 1660, 1681, 1681, 1646, 1718, 1669, 1703 and 1705 are included under the topic Early Daniels History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 173 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Daniels Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Daniels, or a variant listed above:

Daniels Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Wentworth Daniels, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1640

Daniels Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • William Daniels, who arrived in Mississippi in 1799

Daniels Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Daniels, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Duggan Daniels, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • James Daniels, English convict from Northampton, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Richard Daniels, English convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "Adamant" on March 16, 1821, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • James Daniels, English convict from Chester, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia


Daniels Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Daniels, aged 35, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864
  • Francis Daniels, aged 20, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875
  • Caroline Daniels, aged 26, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875

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  • Melvin Joe Daniels (1944-2015), American professional basketball player, two-time ABA Most Valuable Player and a seven-time ABA All-Star, inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012
  • William Alan Daniels (1948-1988), American Research Chemist from Belle Mead, New Jersey, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died
  • Harold Jack Daniels (1927-2013), American Major League Baseball outfielder
  • Bebe Daniels (1901-1971), American actress, singer, dancer, writer, producer and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Charles Meldrum Daniels (1885-1973), American freestyle swimmer, winner of five Olympic gold medals one sliver and two bronze
  • David Daniels (1933-2008), American visual poet
  • Josephus Daniels (1862-1948), American journalist and statesman
  • Jonathan Worth Daniels (1902-1981), American journalist and writer
  • Annette Daniels (1961-2004), American mezzo-soprano opera singer
  • Farrington Daniels (1889-1972), American physical chemist, pioneer of the modern direct use of solar energy

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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: Nec timeo nec sperno
Motto Translation: I neither fear nor despise.

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  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)

Other References

  1. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  3. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  5. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  6. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  7. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  8. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  9. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...

The Daniels Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Daniels 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 25 March 2016 at 10:48.

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