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

Though hidden in the annals of history, the chronicles of Scotland reveal the early records of the Norman surname Denham which ranks as one of the oldest. The history of the name is interwoven within the colorful plaid of Scottish history and is an intrinsic part of the heritage of Scotland.


The surname Denham was first found in Denholm, a small village located between Jedburgh and Hawick in the Scottish Borders. [1] As early as the 16th century, the hamlet was named Denum and was frequently plundered and burnt during English raids of that time. There are three parishes named Denham in England where the local is derived from the Old English word "denu" + "ham" meaning "homestead or village in a valley." [2] In Buckinghamshire, Denham is today a village and civil parish in the union of Eton and comprises 3780 acres. It was listed as Deneham in 1066 and later as Daneham in the Domesday Book [3]. Denham, Suffolk is near Bury St Edmunds and was listed as Denham in 1086. There is another Denham in Suffolk which lies near Eye and in this latter case, it was spelt Denham in 1086. Conjecturally, the family was descended from W. Hurrant, a Norman noble, who was granted the lands of Denham by William the Conqueror, and erected Denham Castle, and today the earthworks of the moat and bailey still remain.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Denham, Denholm, Denholme, Dennam and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Denham research. Another 239 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1296, 1299, 1506, 1600, 1800, 1614, 1669 and 1815 are included under the topic Early Denham History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Denham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Denham family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 55 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Denham Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • William Denham who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • William Denham, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • Walter Denham, who arrived in Virginia in 1653
  • Charles Denham settled in Barbados in 1660
  • Richard Denham settled in Virginia in 1670

Denham Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Denham, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1715-1721
  • James Denham, who arrived in Maryland in 1716
  • James Denham settled in Maryland in 1716
  • Joseph Denham, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798
  • Reuben Denham, who landed in Mississippi in 1798

Denham Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Alex Denham, who landed in America in 1804
  • Ann Denham, who arrived in America in 1804
  • Alexander Denham, aged 37, arrived in New York in 1812
  • John D Denham, aged 28, landed in New York in 1812
  • Christopher Richard Denham, who landed in New York in 1836

Denham Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Samuel Denham arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "lady Emma" in 1837
  • Ann Sophia Denham arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "lady Emma" in 1837
  • Alfred Denham, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Anna Maria" on March 6, 1848, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Sarah Denham, aged 20, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Warren Hastings"


  • Jeffrey Denham (b. 1967), American Republican politician serving in the California State Senate
  • Jack Denham (1924-2009), leading Australian horse trainer and businessman
  • Admiral Sir Henry Mangles Denham CMG (1800-1887), British Navy Officer knighted for his hydrographical services
  • Digby Frank Denham (1859-1944), Australian politician / businessman Premier of Queensland from 1911 to 1915
  • Maurice Denham (1909-2002), English character actor
  • Dixon Denham (1786-1828), English explorer in West Central Africa


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: Cura dat victoriam
Motto Translation: Caution gives victory.


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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  2. 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).
  3. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  4. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  7. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  9. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  10. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  11. ...

The Denham Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Denham 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 6 February 2016 at 13:50.

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