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

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

An ancient Pictish-Scottish family was the first to use the name Dees. It is a name for someone who lived in Angus (in the modern region of Tayside), and claim descent from Gaelic MacDhai, son of David.

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During the Middle Ages, there was no basic set of rules and scribes wrote according to sound. The correct spelling of Scottish names were further compromised after many haphazard translations from Gaelic to English and back. Spelling variations of the name Dees include Deas, Dease, Deasey, Deasy, Dais, Daes, Deasson, Deason, Dasone and many more.

First found in Angus (Gaelic: Aonghas), part of the Tayside region of northeastern Scotland, and present day Council Area of Angus, formerly known as Forfar or Forfarshire, where they were descended from the Gaelic MacDhai, son of David. From the 13th century onward the name was anglicized MacDavid, Davidson, Deasson and Deas. The branches using Deas and Deasson settled in Angus and in Banffshire at the end of the fifteenth century.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dees research. Another 127 words(9 lines of text) covering the years 1611, 1627, 1638, 1677, 1683, and 1804 are included under the topic Early Dees History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Dees family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 96 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Scots left their country by the thousands to travel to Australia and North America. Desperate for freedom and an opportunity to fend for themselves, many paid huge fees and suffered under terrible conditions on long voyages. Still, for those who made the trip, freedom and opportunity awaited. In North America, many fought their old English oppressors in the American War of Independence. In recent years, Scottish heritage has been an increasingly important topic, as Clan societies and other organizations have renewed people's interest in their history. An examination of passenger and immigration lists shows many early settlers bearing the name of Dees:

Dees Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Emanl Dees, who landed in Virginia in 1696

Dees Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Patrick Dees, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1875

Dees Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • William J. Dees, aged 23, who settled in America from Harttspool, England, in 1913
  • John Dees, aged 53, who emigrated to the United States from Cardiff, Wales, in 1917
  • Michel Dees, aged 22, who landed in America from Paris, France, in 1919
  • William James Dees, aged 30, who landed in America from W. Hartlepool, England, in 1920
  • H. H. Dees, aged 31, who landed in America, in 1921

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  • Morris Seligman Dees Jr. (b. 1936), American co-founder and chief trial counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)
  • Anthony "Tony" Michael Dees (b. 1963), American Olympic hurdler
  • Archie William Dees (b. 1936), American former professional NBA basketball player
  • James Parker Dees (1915-1990), American founder and first bishop of the Anglican Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Anglican Communion
  • Robert Leslie Dees (b. 1997), American NFL football defensive tackle
  • Mary Ella Dees (1911-2004), American stage and screen actress
  • William J. Dees, English boxer, winner of the Amateur Boxing Association of England's Middleweight Championship (1897)


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  1. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  7. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  8. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  11. ...

The Dees Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dees 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 16 February 2015 at 18:46.

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