Denniss History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

Denniss is an ancient name whose history on English soil dates back to the wave of emigration that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The name comes from the medieval given name, Dennis, which comes from the Greek name Dionysios, which means a follower of the god Dionysius.

Early Origins of the Denniss family

The surname Denniss was first found in Lancashire. Conjecturally, the name came to us from Normandy, from the patron saint of France, St. Denis. [1] 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.

Important Dates for the Denniss family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Denniss research. Another 99 words (7 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 Denniss History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Denniss 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 Dennis, Denis, Dennys, Dennyss, Denys, Denniss and many more.

Early Notables of the Denniss family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Thomas Denys (d.1498) of Holcombe Burnell; and his son, Sir Thomas Denys (c.1477-1561), English politician and landholder of estates in Devon at the Dissolution of the Monasteries, nine-time Sheriff of Devon between 1507 and 1554, and Member of Parliament for Devon; and his son, Sir Robert Dennis (died 1592) of Holcombe Burnell, Member of Parliament for Devon in 1555 and served as Sheriff of Devon, he founded Livery Dole...
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Denniss Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Denniss family to Ireland

Some of the Denniss family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Denniss migration to the United States

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 Denniss or a variant listed above:

Denniss Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mary Denniss, who arrived in America in 1697 [2]

Denniss 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:

Denniss Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edward Denniss, (b. 1869), aged 4, Cornish settler departing on 19th May 1873 aboard the ship "Columbus" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 2nd September 1873 [3]
  • Mr. Francis Denniss, (b. 1860), aged 13, Cornish farm labourer departing on 19th May 1873 aboard the ship "Columbus" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 2nd September 1873 [3]
  • Mr. George Denniss, (b. 1828), aged 45, Cornish stone cleaver departing on 19th May 1873 aboard the ship "Columbus" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 2nd September 1873 [3]
  • Mr. George Denniss, (b. 1853), aged 20, Cornish stone cleaver departing on 19th May 1873 aboard the ship "Columbus" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 2nd September 1873 [3]
  • Mr. Harry Denniss, (b. 1867), aged 6, Cornish settler departing on 19th May 1873 aboard the ship "Columbus" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 2nd September 1873 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Citations

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
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