Dee History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The River Dee flows through parts of both Wales and England, forming part of the border between the two countries. South east of Cumbria, a part of the Craven region traditionally part of the West Riding of Yorkshire is home to another River Dee and of course, there is another in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Early Origins of the Dee family

The surname Dee was first found in Cheshire where the name derives its name from the River Dee, which was first known as Deoua c. 150, an ancient Celtic river-name meaning "the goddess, the holy one." [1]

Early History of the Dee family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dee research. Another 73 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1527, 1608, 1579, 1651, 1657, 1720, 1657, 1638, 1634 and 1638 are included under the topic Early Dee History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dee Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Dee, Die and others.

Early Notables of the Dee family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Dee (1527- c.1608), Welsh noted mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, occultist, navigator, and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I; and Arthur Dee (1579-1651), his eldest son who became a noted physician and alchemist, physician to King Charles I. Duncan Dee (1657-1720), was an English pleader...
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Dee migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Dee Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jon Dee, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [2]
  • Samuel Dee, who arrived in Maryland in 1659 [2]
  • Marjorie Dee, who settled in Virginia in 1663
  • William Dee, who settled in New England in 1664
Dee Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Dee who settled in Carolina in 1774
  • Robert Dee, aged 33, who arrived in Carolina in 1774 [2]
Dee Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • David Dee, aged 28, who landed in Rhode Island in 1812 [2]
  • Thomas Dee, aged 22, who landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1834 [2]
  • B B Dee, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [2]
  • John Dee, aged 12, who landed in New York in 1854 [2]
  • Dennis, Killian, Lawrence, Thomas, William Dee who all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870

Canada Dee migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Dee Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Margaret Dee, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1833
  • Margaret Dee, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1834
  • Mary Dee, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1834
  • Darby Dee, aged 21, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1837 aboard the barque "Robert Watt" from Cork, Ireland
  • Peggy Dee, aged 23, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1837 aboard the barque "Robert Watt" from Cork, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Dee migration to Australia +

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

Dee Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Peter Dee, a carpenter, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Isaac Dee, aged 21, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Navarino" [3]
  • Thomas Dee, English Convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "Aboukir" on December 24, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [4]

New Zealand Dee 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:

Dee Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Henry Dee, aged 22, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tongariro" in 1888
  • S. Catherine Dee, aged 19, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tongariro" in 1888

Contemporary Notables of the name Dee (post 1700) +

  • Mike Dee (b. 1958), American college baseball coach
  • Roger Dee (1914-2004), pseudonym of Roger D. Aycock, an American science fiction author
  • Sandra Dee (1944-2005), born Alexandra Zuck, an American Golden Globe winning actress
  • Johnny Dee (b. 1964), born John DiTeodoro, Jr., an American heavy metal drummer
  • Robert Henry "Bob" Dee (1933-1979), American NFL football defensive end who played from 1957 to 1967, inducted into the New England Patriots Hall of Fame
  • Frances Marion Dee (1909-2004), American actress, best know for her role in the film An American Tragedy (1931)
  • Ruby Dee (1924-2014), née Wallace, American Grammy, Emmy, Obie, Drama Desk, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award winning actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and activist
  • Marvin Robert Dee (1917-1975), American Republican politician, Member of Illinois State House of Representatives 20th District, 1973-74 [5]
  • J. Roy Dee, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1960, 1964 [5]
  • J. Fred Dee, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Illinois 3rd District, 1936 [5]
  • ... (Another 6 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMAS Sydney II


The Dee 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: Hic labor
Motto Translation: This is the difficulty.


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) NAVARINO 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Navarino.htm
  4. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 18) Aboukir voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island. [These convicts appear to have all landed in Van Diemen's Land], Australia in 1851 with 280 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/aboukir/1851
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  6. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp


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