Dire History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The earliest origins of the family name Dire date back to the Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It was a name given to a deer, where in early times it was used as a term of endearment. The surname Dire originally derived from the Old English Dyri. The name could also have been derived from the Old English word deag, which meant "dye." As a surname, Dire was likely an occupational name for a "dyer of cloth."  In ancient Latin documents, the trade and surname was listed as "tinctor" and has a French equivalent of Teinturier.
Early Origins of the Dire family
The surname Dire was first found in Oxfordshire where one the first records of the family was John le Deyere who was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. There was quite a few early records of the family in Somerset. Kirby's Quest of Somerset listed: John Dyar; Richard le Dyghar; John le Dyghar, as all having lived there temp. 1 Edward III. Richard le Dyer, of Kiderminster was rector of Fincham, Norfolk in 1333.  
Again in Somerset, another source notes that Henry le Deghar was listed there in 1260. Later the Subsidy Rolls of 1275 listed Robert le Deyare in Worcestershire and later again, Alexander Dyghere was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296. The Subsidy Rolls for Derbyshire noted Henry le Dyer had lands there in 1327. 
In Scotland early records used the Latin form "tinctor." Henry tinctor was listed in Dumfriesshire, c. 1259 and Roger tinctor held land in Aberdeen in 1332. John Dyer called 'talp,' was admitted burgess of the same town in 1436. 
Early History of the Dire family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dire research. Another 148 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1273, 1260, 1333, 1382, 1543, 1607, 1596, 1685, 1680, 1682, 1699, 1757, 1611, 1660 and 1697 are included under the topic Early Dire History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dire Spelling Variations
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Dire include Dyer, Dyers, Dyar, Dier, Dyars, Dieres, Dire, Dires and many more.
Early Notables of the Dire family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Edward Dyer (1543-1607) English poet in the court of Elizabethan I, he was knighted and made chancellor of the Order of the Garter in 1596; William Dyre (died 1685), Englishman who served as the 13th Mayor of New York City (1680 to 1682); John Dyer (1699-1757), a Welsh poet; and Mary Barrett Dyer (c.1611-1660), an English Puritan turned Quaker who was hanged in Boston, Massachusetts for repeatedly defying a law banning Quakers from...
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dire Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dire family to Ireland
Some of the Dire 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.
Migration of the Dire family
A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: Abigail Dyer who settled in Nantasket, Massachusetts in 1630.
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: Terrere nolo, timere nescio
Motto Translation: I wish not to intimidate, and know not how to fear.
- Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- 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.
- Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)