The origins of the Dinster name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture. It comes from when the family lived 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 Dinster family
The surname Dinster 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
Early History of the Dinster family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dinster research.Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1609, 1659, 1640, 1618, 1684, 1660 and 1679 are included under the topic Early Dinster History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dinster Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred
years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations
are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon
surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Dinster were recorded, including Dunster, Dunstar, Dunstarr, Dunsterr and others.
Early Notables of the Dinster family (pre 1700)
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dinster Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dinster family to the New World and Oceana
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England
went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Dinster family emigrate to North America: Robert Dunstarr who settled in Barbados in 1635; Catherine Dunstar settled in Annapolis Maryland in 1726; Henry Dunster settled in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1648.