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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Where did the English Dickins family come from? What is the English Dickins family crest and coat of arms? When did the Dickins family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Dickins family history?

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change, including many immigrants with new names. Among these were the ancestors of the Dickins family, whose name comes from the Norman baptismal name which means the son of Diccon, which is a diminution of the parent name, Richard. [1] Baptismal names began to appear as surnames relatively late in the growth of the naming tradition. This is a little surprising, given the popularity of biblical figures in the Christian countries of Europe. Nevertheless, surnames derived from baptismal names grew in popularity during the Middle Ages, and have become one of the foremost sources for surnames. Most of the early appearances of the name were found in the French form Dicon, which lingered until the 16th century.

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Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Dickens, Dickins, Diggons, Diggens, Diggins, Dikens, Digons, Diquon and many more.

First found in Staffordshire where one of the first listings of the name was Richard Dicum who listed in the Assize Rolls there in 1203. The Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire list John Dycon in 1327. [2] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 lists: Richard Digon in London; Roger Digun; and Alice Dikun while the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 lists: Alicia Dycon, mayden; Ricardus Dicon; and Willwlmus Diconson. [1] The reader should pay special attention to the term "mayden" in the last entry as while the modern spelling is obviously "maiden," we must realize that as it was noted in the rolls, Alicia Dycon was a woman who held lands and was a person of distinction; a feat rarely seen in the 13th century! Today most of the spellings of the surname are usually seen appended with "s."


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dickins research. Another 165 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1812 and 1870 are included under the topic Early Dickins History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 23 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dickins Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Dickins family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Dickins or a variant listed above:

Dickins Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • William Dickins settled in Virginia in 1643
  • Danll Dickins, who arrived in Virginia in 1661

Dickins Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • William Dickins, aged 20, landed in Kennebunk, Me in 1830

Dickins Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mr. John Dickins U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 180 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York, USA

Dickins Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Dickins arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838
  • Ann Dickins arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838
  • Henry Dickins arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838
  • Fanny Dickins arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838
  • Charles Dickins arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838


Dickins Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • James Dickins, aged 44, a station master, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1872
  • Jane Dickins, aged 47, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1872
  • Mary E. Dickins, aged 11, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1872
  • Charles H. Dickins, aged 8, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1872
  • Emily Dickins, aged 6, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1872


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  • John Dickins (1746-1798), early Methodist preacher in the United States
  • Matthew James "Matt" Dickins (b. 1970), English professional goalkeeper
  • Rob Dickins CBE (b. 1950), English music industry executive
  • Frederick Victor Dickins (1838-1915), British surgeon, barrister, orientalist and university administrator
  • Barry Dickins (b. 1949), Australian author, artist and playwright
  • Clennell Haggerston "Punch" Dickins (1899-1995), pioneering Canadian aviator and bush pilot


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  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)

Other References

  1. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  2. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  3. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  4. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  8. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  11. ...

The Dickins Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dickins Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 18 September 2015 at 14:11.

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