Dawen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The distinguished surname Dawen was first brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name is patronymic in origin, signifying "the son of Durant," an Old French personal name. Looking at records from this time, we found Geoffry, Roger and Henry Durant who claimed descent from Normandy c. 1180-95  while another census in 1198, lists Aceline, Ralph, Richard, and Robert Durant. 
Early Origins of the Dawen family
The surname Dawen was first found in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and Shropshire at Tong, a parish, in the union of Shiffnall, Shiffnall division of the hundred of Brimstree. "Tong Castle, the seat of the family of Durant, a magnificent mansion remodelled in the last century, is crowned with numerous turrets, pinnacles, and eight lofty domes, producing a striking effect: it contains many valuable pictures and cabinets." 
The Domesday Book of 1086 has the first record of the family. Durandus, the Latin form of the name in use at that time was registered in Winton, Hampshire as holding lands there at that time. 
Another branch of the family were found at Wallingswells in the West Riding of Yorkshire. "In excavating near the house [of Sir Thomas Woolaston White], in 1829, several stone coffins were found, and amongst them that of Dame Margery Dourant, second abbess of the convent, who died in the reign of Richard I ([1189-1199)]." 
And yet another branch of the family was found in Cornwall. "The manor of Lanestock, which is partly in the parish [of St. Austell], and partly in Tywardreath, has of late years passed under the same title as Trenance Austell. This was anciently in the family of Durant, from whom it passed into that of the Arundells of Trerice in Newlyn. The manor of Thorlebear [in the parish of Launcells, Cornwall] was formerly the property of the Durants, by whose heiress it was carried in marriage to the Arundells of Trerice." 
Early History of the Dawen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dawen research. Another 111 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1140, 1296, 1578, 1564, 1660 and 1644 are included under the topic Early Dawen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dawen Spelling Variations
Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Dawen family name include Durand, Durant, Durande, Durrane, Dant, Dante and many more.
Early Notables of the Dawen family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Drant (d. 1578?), English divine and poet, born at Hagworthingham in Lincolnshire, son of Thomas Drant. "On the occasion of Queen Elizabeth's visit to the university in August 1564 he composed copies of English, Latin, and Greek verses, which he presented to her majesty. " 
Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dawen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dawen family
To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Dawen family to immigrate North America: William Durand, who settled in Virginia in 1635; George Durant, who came to North Carolina in 1661; Thomas Dant, who immigrated to Maryland in 1674; Thomas Durrant, who arrived with his wife and servants in Barbados in 1680.
- 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)
- Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
- Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print