Desmore History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's generation of the Desmore family inherits a name that was first used by the Scottish tribe known as the Picts. The first family to use the name Desmore lived 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 Desmore family

The surname Desmore 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 Desmore family

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

Desmore Spelling Variations

Repeated and inaccurate translation of Scottish names from Gaelic to English and back resulted in a wide variety of spelling variations with single names. Desmore has appeared Dinsmore, Dinsmuir, Dunsmore, Dansmore, Dunmuir and many more.

Early Notables of the Desmore family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Desmore family to Ireland

Some of the Desmore 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.

Migration of the Desmore family

Many Scottish families suffered enormous hardships and were compelled to leave their country of birth. They traveled to Ireland and Australia, but mostly to the colonies of North America, where many found the freedom and opportunity they sought. It was not without a fight, though, as many were forced to stand up and defend their freedom in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of these Scots abroad have rediscovered their heritage in the last century through the Clan societies and other organizations that have sprung up across North America. Immigration and passenger ship lists show some important early immigrants bearing the name Desmore: James Dunsmore who settled in New England in 1652. Dunsmore of Virginia represented the colony in 1772. William Dunsmore settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1872.



The Desmore 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. ^ Lowe, 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)


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