Dexter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The Anglo-Saxon name Dexter comes from when its first bearer worked as a dyer or a maker of dyes.

Early Origins of the Dexter family

The surname Dexter was first found in Leicestershire where they held a family seat from ancient times, some say before the Norman Conquest in 1066. Dexter comes originally from the Saxon word "dighester" meaning "dyer."

Important Dates for the Dexter family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dexter research. Another 98 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1262, 1280, 1610, 1700 and 1638 are included under the topic Early Dexter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dexter Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Dexter include Dexter, Dextere, Dyster, Dyer, Deckster, Deckstere, Dextar, Dextare, Dystar and many more.

Early Notables of the Dexter family (pre 1700)

Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dexter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Dexter family to Ireland

Some of the Dexter family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dexter migration to the United States

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Dexter or a variant listed above:

Dexter Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Dexter immigrated to Lynn Massachusetts in 1630
  • Thomas Dexter, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1630 [1]
  • Francis Dexter, a youth of 13, who came on the ship the "Planter" in 1635
  • Abell Dexter, aged 25, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [1]
  • Ffrancis Dexter, aged 13, who landed in America in 1635 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dexter Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johan Matteas Dexter, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1744 [1]
Dexter Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • S Dexter, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1822 [1]
  • Mr. Dexter, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1822 [1]
  • F J Dexter, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [1]
  • W S Dexter, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [1]
  • W Dexter, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Dexter migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Dexter Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Sam] Dexter, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Jer Dexter, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Jeremiah Dexter, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • John Dexter, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760

Dexter migration to Australia

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

Dexter Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Dexter, English convict from Wiltshire, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on August 08, 1849, settling in Van Diemen's Land and Port Phillip, Australia [2]
  • John Dexter, aged 35, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Aliquis"

Dexter 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:

Dexter Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • W. Dexter, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Glenhuntly" in 1872

Contemporary Notables of the name Dexter (post 1700)

  • Pete Dexter (b. 1943), American novelist, recipient of the U.S. National Book Award for his novel Paris Trout (1988)
  • Elliott Dexter (1870-1941), American film and stage actor
  • Samuel Dexter (1761-1816), American statesman who served both in Congress and in the Presidential Cabinet
  • Al Dexter (1905-1984), American country musician and songwriter
  • Brad Dexter (1917-2002), born Boris Malanovich, an American actor, known for The Magnificent Seven (1960) and Run Silent Run Deep (1958)
  • Timothy Dexter (1747-1806), American merchant and eccentric, becoming wealthy, he named himself Lord Timothy Dexter, and built himself a great mansion in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He wrote an amusing account of his own exploits "A Pickle for the Knowing Ones, or Plain Truth in a Homespun Dress" in 1802. The book had no punctuation, but in a second edition, Dexter satisfied his critics by a page full of various punctuation marks, inviting his readers to "peper and solt it as they plese"
  • John Dexter (1925-1990), English two-time Tony Award winning theatre, opera, and film director
  • Norman Colin Dexter OBE (b. 1930), English crime writer, known for his Inspector Morse novels
  • Edward Ralph "Ted" Dexter CBE (b. 1935), former English cricketer, born in Milan, Italy
  • Felix Dexter (1961-2013), British actor, comedian, and writer
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Citations

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Port Phillip, Australia in 1849 with 303 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/adelaide/1849
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