Show ContentsDehavilland History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 added many new elements to an already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Dehavilland family lived in Somerset and Guernsey. Their name, however, is a reference to the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Haverland in Contantin, Normandy.

Early Origins of the Dehavilland family

The surname Dehavilland was first found in Somerset and Guernsey where "a member of the ancient Norman family of De Havilland of Guernsey settled in Somersetshire temp. Henry VII., and founded this surname in England." [1] The original Guernsey family settled there before 1176.

Early History of the Dehavilland family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dehavilland research. Another 55 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 117 and 1170 are included under the topic Early Dehavilland History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dehavilland Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Haviland, Havilland, De Haviland and others.

Early Notables of the Dehavilland family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Dehavilland Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Dehavilland family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Dehavilland or a variant listed above: Miles Haviland settled in Rhode Island in 1679; Mathew Haviland settled in Barbados in 1680 with his servants; Arthur, Daniel, Francis, Henry, James, John Haviland, all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860..

Contemporary Notables of the name Dehavilland (post 1700) +

  • Dame Olivia de Havilland D.B.E. (1916-2020), British-American Academy Award winning actress, known for her roles in Gone with the Wind (1939), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Dodge City (1939), Santa Fe Trail (1940), and They Died with Their Boots On (1941) was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 17th June 2017
  • Joan de Havilland (b. 1917), birth name of Joan Fontaine, American Academy Award winning actress
  • Terry de Havilland (1938-2019), English shoe designer, often cited as the ‘Rock n Roll Cobbler of the 1970s’
  • Sir Geoffrey de Havilland OM, CBE, AFC, RDI, FRAeS (1882-1965), British aviation pioneer and aircraft engineer. His Mosquito has been considered the most versatile warplane ever built

The Dehavilland 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: Dominus fortissima turris
Motto Translation: The Lord is the strong tower

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print. on Facebook