Show ContentsDinstar History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Dinstar comes from the family having resided in the parish of Dunster in the county of Somerset. The place-name is derived from the Old English word Dunntorr, which refers to a rocky peak.

Early Origins of the Dinstar family

The surname Dinstar was first found in Somerset at Dunster, home of Dunster Castle, a former motte and bailey castle, now a country house owned by the National Trust, which operates it as a tourist attraction. The location has been fortified since the late Anglo-Saxon period and the by the 11th century, William de Mohun had constructed a timber castle on the site.

After the siege of Dunster Castle at the end of the English Civil War, much of the castle was destroyed but was later remodeled to fit Victorian tastes. One of the first records of the name was William de Mohun of Dunster (c.1090-c.1155) who was a favourite of Empress Matilda, daughter of King Henry I, and a loyal supporter of her in the war against King Stephen.

He earned the epithet the "Scourge of the West"and after the war, Empress Matilda granted him the title Earl of Somerset, in 1141. His father, William was Sheriff of Somerset in 1084.

Early History of the Dinstar family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dinstar research. Another 57 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1609, 1618, 1640, 1659, 1660, 1675, 1678, 1679, 1684, 1687 and 1754 are included under the topic Early Dinstar History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dinstar Spelling Variations

Dinstar has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Dunster, Dunstar, Dunstarr, Dunsterr and others.

Early Notables of the Dinstar family

Notables of the family at this time include Henry Dunster (1609-1659), born in Lancashire, England, he emigrated to America in 1640 and became the first president of Harvard University. He was the son of Henry Dunster of Balehoult, Bury, Lancashire. [1] Another Henry Dunster (1618-1684), was an English merchant...
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dinstar Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Dinstar family

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Dinstars to arrive on North American shores: Robert Dunstarr who settled in Barbados in 1635; Catherine Dunstar settled in Annapolis Maryland in 1726; Henry Dunster settled in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1648.

  1. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print on Facebook