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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Welsh


Dirt is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Dirt family lived in Devon, near the river Dart, from which the surname derives.

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It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Dirt are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Dirt include Dart, Darte, Darth and others.

First found in Devon where they held a family seat from very early times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dirt research. Another 245 words (18 lines of text) covering the year 1086 is included under the topic Early Dirt History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Dirt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Dirt, or a variant listed above: Ambrose Dart settled in Boston, Massachusetts about the year 1640; and Richard Dart settled in New London in the year 1664; Jane Dart settled in Bermuda in 1635.

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  1. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  2. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  3. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  6. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  7. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  8. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  10. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
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The Dirt Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dirt Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 27 October 2010 at 13:30.

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