Show ContentsDebnam History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Debnam family

The surname Debnam was first found in Suffolk at Debenham, a large village and civil parish in the Mid Suffolk district that dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was listed as Depbenham. [1] [2] The place name literally means "homestead or village by the deep river," from the Old English words "deope" + "ham." [3]

While most of the variants for this family are fairly straightforward, its hard believe that the name Deadman was indeed one of them. [4] [5] [6]

Another reference claims the place name derives its name from its situation on the river Deben, which rises at some distance above the town. The kings of the East Angles are said to have held their courts at Debenham, where they had a palace. Originally a market town, Debenham was originally in the union of Bosmere and Claydon, hundred of Thredling and was held by William de Gulafra from Robert Malet who was recorded in the Domesday Book. At that time, Debenham consisted of two churches, St. Mary and St. Andrew and held twenty pigs and twenty eight goats and was noted for it's Norman church. [1]

Not withstanding the aforementioned Suffolk reference, we must look to Huntingdonshire to find the first entry in early rolls, that of John de Debenham in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1279. [4] [2]

By the seventeenth century, spelling variations were numerous, but all residing in Suffolk: Robert Debenham, Debnam; Francis Debnam, Deadman; John Deadman, Debingham; and Stephen Dedman, Thomas Dednum. All were recorded in 1674. [4]

As one might expect, the famed William Debenham (1794-1863), was born in Apheton, Suffolk. He joined Thomas Clark in a partnership to manage a draper's store at 44 Wigmore Street in London. This store which was later to become known by the eponymous Debenhams grew to 178 locations across the United Kingdom, Denmark and Ireland.

Early History of the Debnam family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Debnam research. Another 100 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1279, 1404, 1426, 1427, 1432, 1481, 1500, 1503 and 1674 are included under the topic Early Debnam History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Debnam Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Debenham, Debnham, Dedham, Deadham, Dedam, Debynham, Debnam, Deadman, Dedman, Debingham, Dednum, Dednem and many more.

Early Notables of the Debnam family

Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Debnam Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Debnam Ranking

In the United States, the name Debnam is the 17,393rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [7]

United States Debnam migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Debnam Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Wm. Debnam, who settled in Virginia in 1631
  • William Debnam, who arrived in Virginia in 1631 [8]
  • Thomas Debnam, who settled in America in 1685

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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) on Facebook