Diane History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Diane first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived in an area where there was a valley. The place-name is derived from the Old English word denu, when translated means valley. This Old English word has also given rise to other local names such as West Dean in Sussex, Deane in Hampshire and Dean in Essex. [1]

"Atte Dene is the common form in old times, implying residence at such a place. There are, however, eighteen parishes or places called Dean in the Gazetteer of England, and Dene occurs in Domesday Book as a personal appellation." [2] Alternatively, the name could have been from one who holds the office as in "the dean." [3]

Another source claims the name could have been Norman in origin as two listings in the Latin form of the name were found in the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae in 1180-1195: William and Godfrey Decanus of Normandy. [4]

Early Origins of the Diane family

The surname Diane was first found in Sussex where the first record was of Ralph Dene holding manor and estates in that shire. [5]

"This name has two principal areas of distribution, one in Cheshire, Staffordshire, and in their vicinity, the other in the south of England, especially in Wiltshire and in the counties adjacent. There are numerous parishes of the name in the south of England, a circumstance that explains the prevalence of the name in that region." [6]

By the time of the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, the name was scattered perhaps eluding to the aforementioned occupational nature of the name: Thomas dela Dene, Hertfordshire; Jacob de la Dene, Kent; and Robert le Deen, Cambridgeshire. [3]

In northern England, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Johanna del Dene; Willelmus del Dene; and Johannes de Denne as all holding lands there at that time. [3]

William Dene ( fl. 1350), was an early English chronicler and probably author of a work preserved in the Cotton Library in the British Museum containing a record of the history of Rochester, 'Annales Roffenses,' from 1314 to 1358. "A William Dene who is mentioned as archdeacon of Rochester at various dates between 1323 and 1338 is no doubt to be distinguished from the chronicler, though probably related to him." [7]

Early History of the Diane family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Diane research. Another 147 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1350, 1400, 1588, 1628, 1899, 1440, 1503, 1491, 1496, 1501, 1503, 1500, 1502, 1610, 1653, 1638, 1721, 1676, 1708, 1588, 1582, 1585, 1588 and are included under the topic Early Diane History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Diane Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Diane has appeared include Dean, Deane, Dene, Deans, Deanes, Denes, Adeane and others.

Early Notables of the Diane family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Henry Deane (c.1440-1503), Lord Chancellor of Ireland from 1491 to 1496, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1501 to 1503 and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal from 1500 to 1502; Richard Deane (1610-1653), a British naval general and major general for Cromwell; Sir Anthony Deane (1638-1721), English politician, naval architect, Master Shipwright and commercial shipbuilder, Mayor of Harwich, Essex in 1676; and Deane, made Baron Muskerry of Ireland by Queen Anne in 1708. William Deane (d. 1588), was an English Catholic divine, educated in the English college at Rheims, and after...
Another 95 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Diane Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Diane family to Ireland

Some of the Diane family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 86 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Diane migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Diane arrived in North America very early:

Diane Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Cornelius Diane, who arrived in Mississippi in 1795

Contemporary Notables of the name Diane (post 1700) +

  • Kristin Diane Jacobs (1959-2020), American politician who served as a member of the Florida House of Representatives
  • Mrs. Carol Diane McGregor M.B.E. (b. 1944), née Lawson, British Producer and Actress best known for Stroke of Genius, Bobby Jones and Long Way Round, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to charity [8]
  • Mrs. Patricia Diane Armstrong-Child M.B.E., British Director of Nursing for Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to Nursing [9]
  • D. Diane Sarge, American politician, Socialist Workers Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1988
  • Susan Diane Wojcicki (b. 1968), American technology executive, current CEO of YouTube, daughter of Esther Wojcicki
  • Lora Diane Fairclough (b. 1970), English LPGA professional golfer
  • Kim Diane McGuire (1955-2016), American actress and author, best known for her role in the 1990 comedy musical Cry-Baby
  • Bobbie Diane Eakes (b. 1961), American two-time Daytime Emmy Award and four-time Soap Opera Digest Award nominated actress and singer, known for All My Children (1970), The Bold and the Beautiful (1987) and Tainted Dreams (2014)
  • Gennifer Diane Brandon (b. 1990), American professional basketball player
  • Melora Diane Hardin (b. 1967), American actress and singer, known for her roles as Jan Levinson on NBC's The Office and Trudy Monk on Monk


The Diane 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: Forti et fideli nihil difficile
Motto Translation: To the brave and faithful man nothing is difficult.


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  8. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 4 July 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/62310/supplement/B1
  9. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists


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