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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Origins Available: English, French
Dennis is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Dennis comes from the medieval given name, Dennis, which comes from the Greek name Dionysios, which means a follower of the god Dionysius.
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Dennis, Denis, Dennys, Dennyss, Denys, Denniss and many more.
First found in Lancashire. Conjecturally, the name came to us from Normandy, from the patron saint of France, St. Denis.  He was Bishop of Parisii (Paris), but was martyred in the Decian persecution of Christians, shortly after 250 AD. Apparently, after he was beheaded by a sword, he picked it up and walked ten kilometers (six miles), preaching a sermon the entire way. After the Norman Conquest of England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D., the family were granted extensive lands in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Northumberland, Devon and Cornwall.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dennis research. Another 197 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1379, 1500, 1546, 1498, 1477, 1561, 1507, 1554, 1592, 1555, 1591, 1609, 1606, 1660, 1616, 1692, 1660, 1679, 1628, 1693, 1656, 1657, 1734 and 1700 are included under the topic Early Dennis History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 293 words (21 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dennis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Dennis family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Dennis or a variant listed above were:
Dennis Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Thomas Dennis who settled in Boston in 1630
- Danniel Dennis was banished to Barbados in 1635
- Daniell Dennis, aged 22, settled in Barbados in 1635
- Jo Dennis, aged 22, settled in Virginia in 1635
- Thomas Dennis aged 18, settled in Barbados in 1635
Dennis Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Catherine Dennis, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
- Cha Dennis, who landed in Virginia in 1703
- Eliz Dennis, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
- Benjamin Dennis, who landed in South Carolina in 1710
- Robt Dennis, who arrived in Virginia in 1713
Dennis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Charles Dennis, who landed in America in 1811
- Mrs. Dennis, aged 35, settled in Philadelphia in 1820
- R F Dennis, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
- T Dennis, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
- W Dennis, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
Dennis Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Mr. Henry Dennis U.E. who settled in Belle Vue, Beaver Harboutr, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 he moved on to Pennfield, New Brunswick he died In 1792 in New York
- Mr. John Dennis U.E. (b. 1758) born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA from New Jersey, USA who settled in Shelburne, Nova Scotia c. 1783 he moved on to Beaver Harbour, Nova Scotia in late 1783, by 1789 Pennfield, New Brunswick in 1781 he married Martha Brown in New York in 1793 moving to Alexandria, Virginia before returning to Canada Humber River, Upper Canada, Ontario, they had 5 children he died in 1832 in Toronto
- Mrs. Martha Dennis U.E., (née Brown) (b. 1749) born in Pennsylvania, USA who settled in Shelburne, Nova Scotia c. 1783 she moved with husband to Pennifeld, New Brunswick by 1789, she died in 1837
- Mr. Cornelius Dennis U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784
Dennis Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- James Dennis, who arrived in Canada in 1828
- Robert Dennis, who arrived in Canada in 1828
- Mary Dennis, aged 20, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Britannia" from Sligo
- John Dennis, who landed in Canada in 1840
- Platt Dennis, who landed in Canada in 1840
Dennis Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Samuel Dennis, English convict from Chester, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia
- John Dennis, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on November 13, 1832, settling in New South Wales, Australia
- Robert Dennis arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bardaster" in 1839
- Charlotte Dennis arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bardaster" in 1839
- R. Dennis arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Arab" in 1843
Dennis Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- William James Dennis, aged 21, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Wairoa" in 1877
- Eliza Dennis, aged 20, arrived in Taranaki aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1878
- Avery Dennis Sr. (1929-2015), nicknamed "Chief Eagle Eye," an American Shinnecock tribal politician, activist and substance abuse counselor
- Brevet Brigadier General John Benjamin Dennis (1835-1894), Union Army officer during the American Civil War
- John Dennis (1807-1859), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland (1837-1841)
- John Dennis (1771-1806), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland (1797-1805)
- Matt Dennis (1914-2002), American singer, pianist, band leader and arranger, best known for his 1953 song "Angel Eyes"
- Lawrence Dennis (1893-1977), American writer and editor
- Carl Dennis (b. 1939), American poet, winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for poetry
- David Worth Dennis II (1912-1999), Republican United States Representative from Indiana
- Felix Dennis (1947-2014), English publisher, poet and philanthropist, founder of Dennis Publishing in 1974
- Mr. Samuel Dennis (d. 1912), aged 22, English Third Class passenger from Week St Mary, Cornwall who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
- The Ancestors and Descendants of Nathan Dennis, 1650-1982 by Frederick W. Dennis.
- Dennis and Chorn Kin: A Short Genealogy of Their Connections and a Companion to Lucy Jane Wylder and K.
- by Jessye Ann High.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
- Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
- Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
- Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
- MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
- Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
- Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
- Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
- Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
The Dennis Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dennis 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 31 March 2016 at 07:31.
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