Show ContentsDennett History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Dennett is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Dennett family lived in Sussex. The family was originally from D'Anet, in Normandy, [1] which is now home to the Château d'Anet, a château near Dreux, built by Philibert de l'Orme from 1547 to 1552.

Early Origins of the Dennett family

The surname Dennett was first found in Sussex where they held a family seat from very early times. However, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 record the first listings of the name: Alicia Denet in Bedfordshire; and Robert Dynot in Oxfordshire. [2] Regardless of this early roll, Sussex has traditionally held the greatest listings of the name through history.

Early History of the Dennett family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dennett research. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1545, 1620, 1593, 1612, 1645, 1655, 1666, 1566, 1601, 1593, 1559, 1600 and 1601 are included under the topic Early Dennett History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dennett Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Dennett include Dennette, Dennett, Denett, Dennet, Denet and others.

Early Notables of the Dennett family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Danett (fl. 1566-1601), English author of the following works:— 1. ‘The Description of the Low Countreys and of the Prouinces thereof, gathered into an Epitome out of the Historie of Lodouico Guicchardini,’ London, 1593, dedicated to Lord Burghley. 2. ‘A...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dennett Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dennett Ranking

In the United States, the name Dennett is the 13,813rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

United States Dennett migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Dennetts to arrive on North American shores:

Dennett Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Alexander Dennett, who arrived in Maine in 1630
  • John Dennett who settled in Maine in 1630
  • John Dennett, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • James Dennett, who arrived in Virginia in 1650 [4]
  • Richard Dennett, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dennett Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Dennett, who arrived in Arkansas in 1888 [4]
Dennett Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Bertha E. Dennett, aged 22, who settled in America from Brighton, in 1901
  • Sara Dennett, aged 44, who immigrated to America from Brighton, in 1901
  • Prescilla Dennett, aged 48, who immigrated to the United States from Nottingham, in 1905
  • David Dennett, aged 51, who immigrated to the United States from Sussex, in 1906
  • Charlotte Dennett, aged 43, who landed in America from Bradford, England, in 1907
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Dennett migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Dennett Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Dennett, English convict who was convicted in Dorset, England for life, transported aboard the "Burrell" on 22nd July 1830, arriving in New South Wales [5]

New Zealand Dennett migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Dennett Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Matthew Dennett, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • William Dennett, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • Mr. William Dennett, (b. 1860), aged 19, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Stad Haarlem" arriving in Lyttleton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th April 1879 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Dennett (post 1700) +

  • Fred Dennett (1863-1928), Chilean-born, American 32nd Commissioner of the General Land Office (1908-1913)
  • Tyler Dennett (1883-1949), American historian and educator, best known for his book John Hay (1933), for which he won the 1934 Pulitzer Prize for biography
  • Daniel Clement Dennett (b. 1942), American philosopher, writer, and cognitive scientist, often referred to as one of the "Four Horsemen of New Atheism"
  • Jill Dennett, American motion picture actress in Hollywood movies for a decade
  • Mary Coffin Ware Dennett (1872-1947), American birth control activist and pacifist
  • Edward George Dennett, English cricketer for Gloucestershire between 1903 and 1926
  • Richard Edward "R.E." Dennett, English trader and author operating out of the Kongo (present day Republic of Congo) in the early 20th century
  • Mr. Frank Dennett, British Councillor, held the position of Sheriff of Nottingham, England from 1980-1981 and 1984-1985
  • John Dennett (1790-1852), British inventor and antiquary, of Newport, Isle of Wight, known for his "Dennett's Rocket" [7]
  • Jack Dennett (1916-1975), Canadian radio and television announcer, best known for his interviews with seven prime ministers (more than any other) and as play by play announcer for Hockey Night in Canada, inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

The Dennett 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: Per Dei providentiam
Motto Translation: By God's providence.

  1. 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)
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from
  6. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  7. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020 on Facebook