Dinant History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestry of the name Dinant dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived "the dayman," a dairyman or alternatively from the occupation of a "day's man," which was a servant of the keeper of a dairy. [1]

Early Origins of the Dinant family

The surname Dinant was first found in Devon where they quickly rose to be Barons Dinham shortly after the Conquest as they claimed descendancy from the Viscounts Dinant of Bretagne. [2] Some of the family were found at Steeple Aston in Oxfordshire in ancient times; unfortunately one can presume there is now little evidence of their history. "In a chapel on the north side of the chancel are recumbent effigies of Sir Francis Page and his lady, to whom the manor of Middle Aston formerly belonged: Sir Francis destroyed some monuments of the Dinham family to make room for his own, which was erected in his life-time." [3]

We did find this interesting passage about the family. "Whether these Cardinans were the ancestors of the Dynhams, or Dinhams, by whom these possessions were afterwards inherited, has been a subject of dispute; some contending that they belong to the same family, and others arguing that the latter is a distinct race. By those who contend for the distinction between these families, it is said, that Isolda, the descendant, perhaps the grand-daughter, of Robert de Cardinan, being the heiress to his estates, brought this property by marriage to Thomas de Tracy, who in the year 1257 was one of the greatest landholders in Cornwall. This lady, who was left a widow, conveyed this manor as Isolda de Cardinan, who had been the wife of Thomas Tracy, to Oliver de Dinant, or Dinan, in the year 1259; which family of Dinan is said to have taken their name from Dinan in Brittany, where they had founded a monastery, and erected a castle, at a very distant period. During these descents, the name was indifferently written Dynam or Dinham, but in process of time the latter finally prevailed. In the reign of Henry VI. John Dinham, Esq. of Cardinham, who was sheriff of Devon, and resided on his barton of Nutwell." [4]

"Part of the manor of Lanherne, and Kankewas, [in the manor of St. Evall, Cornwall], with all the manorial rights connected with it, was purchased by Mr. John Dayman. " [4]

Early History of the Dinant family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dinant research. Another 140 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1221, 1224, 1332, 1379 and 1695 are included under the topic Early Dinant History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dinant Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Dinant have been found, including De Dinant, Dinan, Dinam, Dinham, Diamond, Dymond, Dyment, Diment, Dymott, Dimont and many more.

Early Notables of the Dinant family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Dinant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Dinant migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Dinant, or a variant listed above:

Dinant Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hans Pieter Dinant, who arrived in New York in 1709 [5]
  • Peter Dinant, who landed in New York, NY in 1710 [5]


The Dinant 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: Toujours prest
Motto Translation: Always ready


  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. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  5. ^ 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)


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