Dinneen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Dinneen surname lived in Downing, Oxfordshire. There is much speculation about the origin of this name as another source notes that the name could be from a "descendant of Dunn (dark brown); dweller at the hill or hill pasture" [1] and another source claims that the name could have been a nickname for someone with a "dark-brown complexion." [2] And another source claims the name is derived from "a location name in Worcestershire." [3]

Early Origins of the Dinneen family

The surname Dinneen was first found in Oxfordshire where Richard Duning was the first record of the family found there in 1197 in the Feet of Fines. Later, Geoffrey Dounyng was listed in 1311. [4]

Early records in Somerset revealed John Dounynne and Tonn Dunnyng, 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [5]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Hervey Dunning, Cambridgeshire and Richard Duning, Oxfordshire. [6]

And in Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Johannes Dunnyng; Alicia Downyng and Johannes Downnyng. [6]

"The Downings of Speckshall in the 17th century were a branch of the very ancient Essex family of the name, a member of which was made a Baronet in 1663, whilst another was founder of Downing College, Cambridge. The Downings have their home now in Ipswich and its neighbourhood. In South Elmham church there is, or was, a monument to Dorcas Downinge, bearing the date of 1638." [7]

The Downing Baronetcy, of East Hatley in the County of Cambridge was created for Sir George Downing, 1st Baronet (c.1625-1684.) Downing Street in London is named after him.

Early History of the Dinneen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dinneen research. Another 148 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1400, 1672, 1623, 1684, 1656, 1711, 1685, 1749, 1764, 1606, 1644, 1606, 1623 and 1626 are included under the topic Early Dinneen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dinneen Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Dinneen are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Dinneen include: Downing, Doning, Douning, Duning and others.

Early Notables of the Dinneen family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Sir George Downing (1623-1684), 1st Baronet of East Hatley, an Anglo-Irish soldier, statesman, and diplomat, eponym of Downing Street in London; Sir George Downing, (c. 1656-1711), 2nd Baronet of East Hatley, Teller of the Receipt of the Exchequer; and Sir George Downing, (1685-1749), 3rd Baronet of East...
Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dinneen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Dinneen family to Ireland

Some of the Dinneen 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.


Canada Dinneen migration to Canada +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Dinneen or a variant listed above:

Dinneen Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Mary Dinneen, aged 10 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Covenanter" departing from the port of Cork, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [8]

Australia Dinneen migration to Australia +

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

Dinneen Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Timothy Dinneen, (b. 1820), aged 23, Irish ploughman who was convicted in Cork, Ireland for 10 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Constant" on 9th May 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1863 [9]

New Zealand Dinneen 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:

Dinneen Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Jeremiah Dinneen, (b. 1840), aged 23, Irish farm labourer, from County Cork travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st May 1863 [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Dinneen (post 1700) +

  • Michael Dinneen, American-born New Zealand mathematician and computer scientist
  • Joseph Francis Dinneen (1897-1964), American writer
  • Bill Dinneen (1876-1955), American baseball player
  • William F. Dinneen, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1924, 1932, 1936; Chair of St. Lawrence County Democratic Party, 1927-39 [11]
  • Patrick J. Dinneen, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Herkimer County, 1935 [11]
  • John Dinneen, American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Huntingdon, 1884 [11]
  • Daniel F. Dinneen, American politician, Mayor of Decatur, Illinois, 1911-19; Member of Illinois State House of Representatives 28th District, 1935-47 [11]
  • Patrick S. Dinneen (1860-1934), Irish lexicographer and historian best known for his Irish-English dictionary, Foclóir Gaedhilge agus Béarla, which was first published in 1904
  • John Dinneen (1867-1942), Irish Farmers' Party politician


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  8. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 24)
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/constant
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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