Dolfen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Strongbownians added their own naming traditions to the eastern region of Ireland to which they arrived. The impact of this new tradition was not extremely disruptive to the pre-existing Irish tradition because the two had many similarities. Both cultures made significant use of hereditary surnames. And like the Irish, the Strongbownians often used prefixes to build patronymic surnames, which are names based on the given name of the initial bearer's father or another older relative. Strongbow's followers often created names that were built with the prefix Fitz-, which was derived from the French word fils, and ultimately from the Latin filius, both of which mean son. They also used diminutive suffixes such as -ot, -et, -un, -in, or -el, and occasionally even two suffixes combined to form a double diminutive such as -el-in, -el-ot, -in-ot, and -et-in, to build patronymic names. The surname Dolfen is derived from the Old Norse personal names Dufan and Dólgfinnr. Many Scandinavian personal names were left in the British Isles as a legacy of the Viking raids which plagued the coastal regions of Britain from the 8th to 10th centuries, and many of these eventually became surnames. In Gaelic, the name was Doilfin.

Early Origins of the Dolfen family

The surname Dolfen was first found in Cumberland at Dovenby, a township, in the parish of Bridekirk, union of Cockermouth, Allerdale ward below Derwent. "This place was called also Dolphinsby, from Dolphin, son of Alward, whose descendants were seated here till the reign of Henry III." [1]

Important Dates for the Dolfen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dolfen research. Another 201 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1068, 1193 and 1606 are included under the topic Early Dolfen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dolfen Spelling Variations

Names were simply spelled as they sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. Therefore, during the lifetime of a single person, his name was often spelt in many different ways, explaining the many spelling variations encountered while researching the name Dolfen. Some of these variations included: Dolphin, Dolfin, Dalphin, Daulphin, Daulphine, Dolphine, Dolfine and many more.

Early Notables of the Dolfen family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Dolfen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Dolfen family

Irish immigration to North American began in the late 18th century as many Irish families desired to own their own land. This pattern of immigration grew slowly yet steadily until the 1840s. At that time, a failed crop and a growing population in Ireland resulted in the Great Potato Famine. Poverty, disease, and starvation ravaged the land. To ease their pain and suffering the Irish often looked upon North America as a solution: hundreds of thousands undertook the voyage. Their arrival meant the growth of industry and commerce for British North America and the United States. For the individual Irishman, it meant survival and hope, and the opportunity for work, freedom, and ownership of land. The early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Dolfen: Richard Dolphin settled in Virginia in 1618. Later Dolphin family members established themselves in Maryland and Pennsylvania in the 1700's.

Citations

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
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