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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Deer family come from? What is the English Deer family crest and coat of arms? When did the Deer family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Deer family history?

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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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"


  • 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. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. 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).
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  6. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  7. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. 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 11 November 2015 at 10:55.

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