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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The origins of the Deer surname date back to the time of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It comes from an early member of the family who was a beloved person or as a term of endearment. The surname Deer also derived from the animal deer.

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The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Deer has been spelled many different ways, including Dear, Deare, Dere, Deer, Dearie, Deir and others.

First found in Bedfordshire (Old English: Bedanfordscir), located in Southeast-central England, formerly part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Deer research. Another 272 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1300, and 1327 are included under the topic Early Deer History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Deer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Deer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 168 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Deers to arrive in North America:

Deer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Richard Deer settled in New England in 1750
  • John Deer arrived in Philadelphia in 1753
  • Henry A Deer, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1753
  • Joh Fried Deer, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1753
  • John Henry Deer, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1753


Deer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • John Michael Deer, aged 23, landed in New York, NY in 1856
  • Paul Deer, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1867

Deer Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Catherine Deer, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1830
  • Ann Deer, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1832

Deer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • James Deer, aged 27, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Shackamaxon"

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  • Gene Deer, American blues guitarist
  • Gary Mule Deer (b. 1940), born Gary Miller, American comedian
  • Robert George Deer (b. 1960), retired American Major League Baseball player
  • Ada E. Deer, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Wisconsin 2nd District, 1992
  • Tracey Deer (b. 1978), Mohawk film director and newspaper publisher
  • Brian Deer, British investigative reporter
  • George Deer OBE (1890-1974), British Trade union official and politician, Sheriff of Lincoln in 1943-44


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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  2. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  7. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  8. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  9. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  11. ...

The Deer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Deer Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 4 February 2016 at 18:13.

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