Dent History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Dent surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in the places named Dent in Cumberland and West Yorkshire. Dent is a local surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. There are a variety of types of local surnames, some of which include: topographic surnames, which could be given to a person who lived beside any physical feature, such as a hill, stream, church or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. The surname Dent comes from a British hill name, which is cognate with the Old Irish words dinn or dind, which mean hill. The earliest records of the surname Dent found bearers of the name to be in Yorkshire, on the border of Westmorland (now part of Cumbria).

Early Origins of the Dent family

The surname Dent was first found in West Riding of Yorkshire (now Cumbria) at Dent, a village and civil parish in the parish of Sedbergh, in Dentdale, a narrow valley on the western slopes of the Pennines. [1]

The origin of the place name is uncertain; it may have been a river name, but was first recorded as Denet c. 1202. [2]

Early History of the Dent family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dent research. Another 144 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1131, 1630, 1676, 1607, 1571, 1575, 1576, 1579, 1580, 1584, 1607, 1689, 1680 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Dent History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dent Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Dent include Dent, Dente, Dentt, Dentte and others.

Early Notables of the Dent family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Col. Thomas Dent, Sr., (1630-1676), Justice, Sheriff, and member of the Lower House of the Maryland General Assembly. Arthur Dent (d. 1607), was an English Puritan divine, matriculated as a pensioner of Christ's College, Cambridge, in November 1571, graduated B.A. in 1575-1576, M.A. in 1579, and was on 17 Dec. 1580 instituted to the rectory of South Shoebury, Essex. "About 1584 he was much troubled by Aylmer, his diocesan, for refusing to wear the surplice and omitting the sign of the cross in baptism. His name is appended to the petition sent to the...
Another 115 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dent Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dent World Ranking

In the United States, the name Dent is the 2,200th most popular surname with an estimated 14,922 people with that name. [3] However, in Australia, the name Dent is ranked the 812nd most popular surname with an estimated 4,833 people with that name. [4] And in the United Kingdom, the name Dent is the 871st popular surname with an estimated 7,841 people with that name. [5]


United States Dent migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Dent Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Francis Dent, who settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1630
  • Francis Dent, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1634 [6]
  • Eliza Dent, who landed in Virginia in 1643 [6]
  • Eliza Dent, who settled in Virginia in 1643
  • Thomas Dent, who arrived in Maryland in 1650 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dent Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Catherine Dent, who arrived in Virginia in 1715 [6]
  • Hainsworth Dent, who settled in Annapolis Maryland in 1726
Dent Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Dent, who landed in America in 1806 [6]
  • George Dent, who landed in America in 1811 [6]
  • Robert Dent, who landed in New York in 1825 [6]
  • Thomas Dent, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1844
  • J P Dent, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Dent migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Dent Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Dent, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749

Australia Dent migration to Australia +

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

Dent Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Dent, English convict who was convicted in Leicester, Leicestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asiatic" on 5th June 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. James Dent, English convict who was convicted in Norfolk, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Charles Kerr" on 6th June 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1837 aboard the ship [8]
  • Hanry Dent, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Recovery" in 1839 [9]
  • Jane Dent, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Recovery" in 1839 [9]
  • Sarah Jane Dent, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Recovery" in 1839 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Dent 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:

Dent Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Dent, aged 29, a miner, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
  • Mr. Dent, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Bride" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 21st June 1858 [10]
  • Mr. William Dent, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Tamar" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 28th January 1858 [11]
  • Miss Henrietta Dent, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Lady Egidia" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 9th February 1861 [10]
  • Miss Florence Dent, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Lady Egidia" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 9th February 1861 [10]

West Indies Dent migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [12]
Dent Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Rich and Jo Dent who were banished to Barbados in 1635
  • Jo Dent, aged 30, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [6]
  • Rich Dent, aged 17, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [6]
  • Mr. John Dent, (b. 1605), aged 30, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Peter Bonaventure" arriving in Barbados and St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [13]
  • George Dent, who settled in Barbados in 1680
Dent Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • Samuel Dent, who landed in Barbados in 1773 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Dent (post 1700) +

  • Lester Dent (1904-1959), American pulp fiction author, best known for his "Doc Savage" books [14]
  • Vernon Bruce Dent (1895-1963), American comic actor who often played the irascible foil to the Three Stooges
  • Charles "Charlie" Dent (b. 1960), Republican member of the United States House of Representatives [15]
  • Richard Lamar Dent (b. 1960), former American football defensive end, MVP of Super Bowl XX [16]
  • Taylor Phillip Dent (b. 1981), American professional tennis player
  • Russell Earl "Bucky" Dent (b. 1951), American born Russell Earl O'Dey, a former Major League Baseball player and manager
  • Frederick Dent, American Diplomat, Ambassador and Trade negotiator
  • John Herman Dent, Democrat member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania
  • Edward John Dent (1790-1853), English watchmaker noted for his highly accurate clocks and marine chronometers, founder of the Dent Company
  • Joseph Malaby Dent (1849-1926), English publisher who produced the Everyman's Library series
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Christopher H C Dent (b. 1913), English Surgeon Lieutenant serving for the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve from Pattingham, Staffordshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [17]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. William Henry Dent, British Leading Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [18]


The Dent 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: Concordia et industria
Motto Translation: By concord and industry.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. 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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  5. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  8. ^ Convict Records of Australia ( retrieved 1st February 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/charles-kerr)
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) RECOVERY from London 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Recovery.htm
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  13. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 23rd September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  14. ^ Lester Dent. (Retrieved 2010, October 8) Lester Dent. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lester_Dent
  15. ^ Charles Dent. (Retrieved 2010, October 8) Charles Dent. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Dent
  16. ^ Richard Dent. (Retrieved 2010, October 8) Richard Dent. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dent
  17. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  18. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html


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