Dermott History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Dermott comes from the Irish Gaelic Mac Diarmada, which means "son of Diarmuid," or, son of Dermot and belongs to the venerable Irish tradition of patronymic naming. However another source claims the name came from the Irish diarmaid, which meant "the god of arms." [1]

Early Origins of the Dermott family

The surname Dermott was first found in County Roscommon (Irish: Ros Comáin) located in central Ireland in the province of Connacht, where the family is believed to have been descended from the Heremon dynasty of Irish Kings and were known as the Princes of Moylurg, or the Kings of Connacht, known as the Clann Mulroona. Specifically they were descended from Teige, a King of Connacht and his son, Murtogh, Prince of Moylurg. Their ancient territories were in the counties of Roscommon and Galway. They were divided into three septs. One of the septs embraced English rule early and relatively painlessly, the other two suffered at the hands of Strongbow's invasion in the 12th century. Of the other two septs, the more prominent is based in Coolavin, in Sligo. This sept was originally found at Moylurg and controlled a large part of Roscommon.

"The MacDermotts were ancient Princes of Moylurg, having their territories in the Barony of Boyle, County Koscommon, and parts of the Parishes of Islandeady, Turlough and Breaffy, in Counties Sligo and Mayo. Their chief fortress "was on an island in Lough Key, near Boyle," and they were hereditary Marshals of Connaught. At the present time Connaught is the province in which the MacDermotts are principally found, and half of the persons of the name in that province belong to County Roscommon. " [2]

The head of this branch was one of the few leaders who is still credited as an authentic chieftain by the Genealogical Office of Ireland, conferring the rightful title The MacDermot. Moreover, the chief is also unofficially styled Prince of Coolavin. The third sept held a family seat at Kilronan in the north of Roscommon, and was referred to as MacDermot Roe, from the word ruadh, which means "red."

Early History of the Dermott family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dermott research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1251, 1320, 1641, 1592, 1717, 1707 and 1717 are included under the topic Early Dermott History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dermott Spelling Variations

Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name Dermott dating from that time include Dermott, Dermot, Dermitt, Dermit, McDermott, Dermutt, Dermut, MacDermott, McDermot, MacDermot, MacDermitt, McDermitt, MacDermit and many more.

Early Notables of the Dermott family (pre 1700)

Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dermott Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Dermott migration to the United States +

To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Dermott or a variant listed above, including:

Dermott Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jo Dermott who settled in Virginia in the year 1635 at the age of 21
  • Edmond Dermott, who arrived in Maryland in 1677 [3]
Dermott Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Dermott, who landed in America in 1806
  • Andw Dermott, who landed in America in 1806 [3]
  • Eliza Dermott, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812 [3]
  • Hugh Dermott, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812 [3]
  • Peter Dermott, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Dermott migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Dermott Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Neil Dermott, aged 20, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Bartley" in 1833
  • Miss. Mary Dermott who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "John and Robert" departing 9th June 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 6th August 1847 but she died on board [4]

Australia Dermott migration to Australia +

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

Dermott Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Dermott, (b. 1836), aged 27, Irish labourer travelling from Queenstown, Ireland aboard the ship "Golden Empire" arriving in Brisbane, Australia in July 1863 [5]

New Zealand Dermott 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:

Dermott Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Mary Margaret Dermott, (b. 1864), aged 1, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 1st January 1866 [6]
  • Miss Hester Jane Dermott, (b. 1862), aged 3, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 1st January 1866 [6]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Dermott, (b. 1839), aged 26, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 1st January 1866 [6]
  • Mr. James Dermott, (b. 1848), aged 22, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 23rd December 1870 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Dermott (post 1700) +

  • James Dermott Monteith (1943-2009), Irish international cricketer
  • Sir Dermott de Trafford,


The Dermott 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: Honor probataque virtus
Motto Translation: Honour and approved valour.


  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ Matheson, Robert E., Special Report on Surnames in Ireland with Notes as to Numeric Strength, Derivation, Ethnology, and Distribution. Dublin: Alexander Thom & Co., 1894. Print
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 72)
  5. ^ The Ships List Passenger Lists Ship Golden Empire (Retrieved 26th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.ozlists.com/genies/shipping/special_lists/s_golden_empire.htm
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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