Show ContentsDensmore History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Pictish clans of ancient Scotland were the ancestors of the first people to use the name Densmore. It comes from on the lands of Dundemore in Fife where the family has a long and distinguished history dating back to the early Middle Ages. The name literally means "the fortified hill," and many old strongholds in Scotland are so called. 1

Early Origins of the Densmore family

The surname Densmore was first found in Fife, in the territories of Dundemore, near Lindores. One of the first records of the name was Henry de Dundemore who witnessed a confirmation charter by John, Earl of Huntigdoun of land in Kynalchmund to the Abbey of Arboirath c. 1219 and later witnessed another charter by the same earl granting lands of Lundors to the monks of Lindores (c.1232-1237.) 2

In 1296, the Ragman Rolls listed Patrik de Dundemor and William de Dundemor as landholders in Fife.

Further to the south in England, Dinmore is an extra-parochial liberty, in the hundred of Grimsworth in Herefordshire. Here, "on Dinmore Hill was a commandery of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, founded by a brother of the order, in the reign of Henry II." 3

Hope under Dinmore is found in Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Originally recorded as Hope in the Domesday Book of 1086 4, it became in Latin, Hope sub Dinnemor in 1291. "Dinmore may be a Welsh name 'din mauer,' meaning 'great fort,' or alternatively 'marsh of a man called Dynna,' from the Old English personal name + "mor." 5

Dinmore Manor House is a large rural house that dates back to 1189 when it was thought to have been built by Knights Templar.

Early History of the Densmore family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Densmore research. Another 248 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1305, 1317, 1330, 1406, 1585, 1643, 1650, 1661, 1662, 1670, 1686, 1688, 1723 and 1750 are included under the topic Early Densmore History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Densmore Spelling Variations

Translation has done much to alter the appearance of many Scottish names. It was a haphazard process that lacked a basic system of rules. Spelling variations were a common result of this process. Densmore has appeared Dinsmore, Dinsmuir, Dunsmore, Dansmore, Dunmuir and many more.

Early Notables of the Densmore family

Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Densmore Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Densmore Ranking

In the United States, the name Densmore is the 6,187th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. 6

Ireland Migration of the Densmore family to Ireland

Some of the Densmore family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 54 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Densmore migration to the United States +

Many Scots left their country to travel to the North American colonies in search of the freedom they could not find at home. Of those who survived the difficult voyage, many found the freedom they so desired. There they could choose their own beliefs and allegiances. Some became United Empire Loyalists and others fought in the American War of Independence. The Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up in the last century have allowed many of these disparate Scots to recover their collective national identity. A search of immigration and passenger ship lists revealed many early settlers bearing the Densmore name:

Densmore Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Samuel Densmore, who landed in New England in 1740 7

Canada Densmore migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Densmore Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Densmore, aged 6, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland
  • James Densmore, aged 16, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834
  • Jane Densmore, aged 24, a spinster, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834
  • Samuel Densmore, aged 29, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834

Contemporary Notables of the name Densmore (post 1700) +

  • William Densmore (1843-1865), Union Navy sailor in the American Civil War, recipient of the Medal of Honor, for his actions at the Battle of Mobile Bay
  • John Densmore (b. 1944), American musician and songwriter of the rock group The Doors, the oldest surviving member of the group
  • James Densmore (1820-1889), American businessman, helped to invent the typewriter and who many believed co-developed the QWERTY layout
  • Frances Densmore (1867-1957), American ethnographer and ethnomusicologist, known for her studies of Native American music and culture
  • Edward Dana Densmore (1871-1926), American architect and engineer
  • Densmore Ronald "Den" Dover (b. 1938), British politician, member of the U.K. Parliament for Chorley (1979-1997)

The Densmore 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: Spes anchora tuta
Motto Translation: Hope is a safe anchor.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. 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) on Facebook