Deen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Deen surname lived 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 Deen family

The surname Deen 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 Deen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Deen 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 Deen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Deen Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Deen are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Deen include: Dean, Deane, Dene, Deans, Deanes, Denes, Adeane and others.

Early Notables of the Deen 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 Deen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Deen family to Ireland

Some of the Deen 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 Deen migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Deen or a variant listed above:

Deen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Paul Deen, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1867 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Deen (post 1700) +

  • Jesse Claude Deen (1922-2015), American educator and politician, Louisiana State Representative for District 9 (Bossier and Webster parishes) (1972-1988)
  • Paula Deen (b. 1947), American cook, restaurateur, author, actress and Emmy Award-winning television personality
  • Mary Kay Deen, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Mississippi, 1980 [9]
  • F. Edgar Deen, American politician, Mayor of Fort Worth, Texas, 1954-55 [9]
  • Braswell Drue Deen (1893-1981), American Democrat politician, U.S. Representative from Georgia 8th District, 1933-39; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Georgia, 1940 [9]
  • Heather Deen Locklear (b. 1961), American six-time Golden Globe nominated actress best known for her television roles as Sammy Jo Carrington on Dynasty, Officer Stacy Sheridan on T.J. Hooker and more
  • Deen Castronovo (b. 1965), Italian American drummer
  • Deen Hergott (b. 1962), Canadian Chess Master


The Deen 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.


  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. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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