Dean History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the bearers of the Dean family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found in an area where there was a valley. The place-name is derived from the Old English word denu, when translated means valley. This Old English word has also given rise to other local names such as West Dean in Sussex, Deane in Hampshire and Dean in Essex. [1]

"Atte Dene is the common form in old times, implying residence at such a place. There are, however, eighteen parishes or places called Dean in the Gazetteer of England, and Dene occurs in Domesday Book as a personal appellation." [2] Alternatively, the name could have been from one who holds the office as in "the dean." [3]

Another source claims the name could have been Norman in origin as two listings in the Latin form of the name were found in the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae in 1180-1195: William and Godfrey Decanus of Normandy. [4]

Early Origins of the Dean family

The surname Dean was first found in Sussex where the first record was of Ralph Dene holding manor and estates in that shire. [5]

"This name has two principal areas of distribution, one in Cheshire, Staffordshire, and in their vicinity, the other in the south of England, especially in Wiltshire and in the counties adjacent. There are numerous parishes of the name in the south of England, a circumstance that explains the prevalence of the name in that region." [6]

By the time of the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, the name was scattered perhaps eluding to the aforementioned occupational nature of the name: Thomas dela Dene, Hertfordshire; Jacob de la Dene, Kent; and Robert le Deen, Cambridgeshire. [3]

In northern England, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Johanna del Dene; Willelmus del Dene; and Johannes de Denne as all holding lands there at that time. [3]

William Dene ( fl. 1350), was an early English chronicler and probably author of a work preserved in the Cotton Library in the British Museum containing a record of the history of Rochester, 'Annales Roffenses,' from 1314 to 1358. "A William Dene who is mentioned as archdeacon of Rochester at various dates between 1323 and 1338 is no doubt to be distinguished from the chronicler, though probably related to him." [7]

Early History of the Dean family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dean research. Another 147 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1350, 1400, 1588, 1628, 1899, 1440, 1503, 1491, 1496, 1501, 1503, 1500, 1502, 1610, 1653, 1638, 1721, 1676, 1708, 1588, 1582, 1585, 1588 and are included under the topic Early Dean History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dean Spelling Variations

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 Dean include Dean, Deane, Dene, Deans, Deanes, Denes, Adeane and others.

Early Notables of the Dean family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Henry Deane (c.1440-1503), Lord Chancellor of Ireland from 1491 to 1496, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1501 to 1503 and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal from 1500 to 1502; Richard Deane (1610-1653), a British naval general and major general for Cromwell; Sir Anthony Deane (1638-1721), English politician, naval architect, Master Shipwright and commercial shipbuilder, Mayor of Harwich, Essex in 1676; and Deane, made Baron Muskerry of Ireland by Queen Anne in 1708. William Deane (d. 1588), was an English Catholic divine, educated in the English college at Rheims, and after...
Another 95 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dean Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Dean family to Ireland

Some of the Dean family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 86 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Dean migration to the United States +

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 Dean or a variant listed above:

Dean Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Stephen Dean, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1621 [8]
  • Walter Dean, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1637 [8]
  • William Dean, who landed in Virginia in 1637 [8]
  • Nich Dean, who arrived in Virginia in 1654 [8]
  • Nicholas Dean, who settled in Virginia in 1654
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dean Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliz Dean, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [8]
  • Jeams Dean, who arrived in Virginia in 1705 [8]
  • Jeany Dean, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [8]
  • Daniel Dean, who landed in New England in 1725 [8]
  • Barzillai Dean, who landed in New England in 1745 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dean Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Dean, who landed in New York in 1801 [8]
  • Thomas Dean, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808 [8]
  • Hugh Dean, who arrived in New York in 1810 [8]
  • Stewart Dean, who landed in Maryland in 1812 [8]
  • Ramo Dean, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1829 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dean Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Ephrane W Dean, who arrived in Arkansas in 1900 [8]

Canada Dean migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Dean Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Robert Dean, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1774
  • William Dean, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1778
  • Mr. Aaron Dean U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1784 [9]
  • Mr. Jacob Dean U.E. (b. 1738) born in New York who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 he died in 1818 [9]
  • Mr. Josiah Dean U.E. who settled in Sophiasburgh & Ameliasburgh [Prince Edward County], Ontario c. 1786 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dean Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edward Dean, aged 20 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Syria" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in June 1847 [10]
  • Miss. Mary Dean who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Syria" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in 1847 [10]
  • Mr. Peter Dean, aged 26 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Syria" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in May 1847 [10]
  • Mr. Patrick Dean who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Naomi" departing 15th June 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 10th August 1847 but he died on board [11]
  • Clara Dean, who arrived in Victoria, British Columbia in 1862
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Dean migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Dean Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Mary Dean, Irish convict who was convicted in Waterford, Ireland for 7 years for stealing fabric, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 29th November 1801, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • Benjamin Dean, English convict from Chester, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • Samuel Dean, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • Mr. Thomas Dean, British Convict who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Caledonia" on 5th July 1820, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [15]
  • Isaac Dean, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [16]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Dean migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Dean Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Dean, aged 20, a farmer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1840
  • Jabez Dean, aged 21, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Oriental" in 1840
  • Ann Dean, aged 19, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Oriental" in 1840
  • Mr. Jabez Dean, (b. 1818), aged 21, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Oriental" arriving in Port Nicholson, Wellington, New Zealand on 31st January 1840 [17]
  • Mrs. Dean, (b. 1820), aged 19, British settler travelling from London with a child aboard the ship "Oriental" arriving in Port Nicholson, Wellington, New Zealand on 31st January 1840 [17]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Dean (post 1700) +

  • Frederick Rudolph "Fred" Dean (1952-2020), American professional NFL football defensive end, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • Joe Dean (1930-2013), American basketball player, inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012
  • Nathan Dean (1934-2013), American politician, Senator Georgia Assembly (1975-2004)
  • Major-General William Frishe Dean (1899-1981), American Deputy Commanding General 6th Army (1955), last military governor of South Korea in 1947-1948 [18]
  • Major-General Herbert Reynolds Dean (1882-1970), American Director of Selective Service Rhode Island (1940-1945) [19]
  • James Byron Dean (1931-1955), American film actor and cultural icon, best known for his starring role in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) for which he was the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination
  • Howard Brush Dean III (b. 1948), American physician and Democratic politician, governor of Vermont from 1991-2003
  • Jerome Hanna "Dizzy" Dean (1910-1974), American pitcher in Major League Baseball, the last National League pitcher to win 30 games in one season and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953
  • Bashford Dean (1867-1928), American zoologist and armor expert
  • John Wesley Dean III (b. 1938), American White House Counsel to United States President Richard Nixon and deeply involved in the Watergate scandal cover up
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Miss Kay Dean (1957-1979), New Zealander passenger, from Reporoa, Waikato, North Island, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; she died in the crash [20]
Halifax Explosion
  • Miss Harriet  Dean, Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [21]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. George A Dean (b. 1922), English Signalman serving for the Royal Navy from Eltham, London, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [22]
  • Mr. Cyril A J Dean (b. 1920), English Stoker 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Iffley, Oxfordshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [22]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. James Dean, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [23]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. George H. Dean (d. 1912), aged 19, English Assistant Saloon Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett [24]
  • Mr. Bertram Frank Dean (d. 1912), aged 25, English Third Class passenger from Bartley Farm, Hampshire who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [24]
  • Mrs. Eva Georgetta Dean, (née Light), aged 32, English Third Class passenger from Bartley Farm, Hampshire who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived in the sinking in life boat 10 [24]
  • Master Bertram Vere Dean, aged 1, English Third Class passenger from Bartley Farm, Hampshire who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived in the sinking in life boat 10 [24]
  • Miss Elizabeth Gladys "Millvina" Dean, aged 2 mths, English Third Class passenger from Bartley Farm, Hampshire who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived in the sinking in life boat 10 [24]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. William E. Dean, American Boatswain's Mate First Class working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking [25]
  • Mr. Lyle Bernard Dean, American Coxswain working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [25]


The Dean Motto +

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: Forti et fideli nihil difficile
Motto Translation: To the brave and faithful man nothing is difficult.


Suggested Readings for the name Dean +

  • 230 "A Family Tree in America: Being a Genealogical Story of the Families of Deane (also Dean), Putnam, Boynton, Gager, Bull, and Allied Families From the Year 1630" by Frank Putnam Deane, "My Maternal Ancestry: Dean, Matlock, Hale, Gahr Families in Tennesseeand Missouri" by Melba Wood.

  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  8. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  9. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  10. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 23)
  11. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 72)
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  13. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Ann voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1809 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/ann/1809
  14. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1820 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1820
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/caledonia
  16. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1824
  17. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  18. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, January 10) William Dean. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Dean/William_Frishe/USA.html
  19. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, January 10) Herbert Dean. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Dean/Herbert_Reynolds/USA.html
  20. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  21. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  22. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  23. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  24. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  25. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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