Show ContentsDolph 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 Dolph 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 Dolph family

The surname Dolph 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]

Early History of the Dolph family

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

Dolph Spelling Variations

Church officials and medieval scribes often simply spelled names as they sounded. As a result, a single person's name may have been recorded a dozen different ways during his lifetime. Spelling variations for the name Dolph include: Dolphin, Dolfin, Dalphin, Daulphin, Daulphine, Dolphine, Dolfine and many more.

Early Notables of the Dolph family (pre 1700)

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

Dolph Ranking

In the United States, the name Dolph is the 13,805th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

United States Dolph migration to the United States +

The Irish emigration during the late 18th and 19th century contributed to the melting pot of nationalities in North America, and the building of a whole new era of industry and commerce in what was seen as a rich, new land. Ireland'sGreat Potato Famine resulted in the worst economic and social conditions in the island's history. And in response to the hunger, disease, and poverty, during this decade the total number of emigrants to leave for North America rivaled all the previous years combined. Those from this decade that arrived on North American shores were not warmly welcomed by the established population, but they were vital to the rapid development of the industry, agriculture, and infrastructure of the infant nations of the United States and what would become Canada. Research into early immigration and passenger lists has shown many people bearing the name Dolph:

Dolph Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • A.M. Dolph, aged 50, who landed in America, in 1894
Dolph Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Cyrus Dolph, aged 32, who immigrated to the United States, in 1909
  • Mary Dolph, aged 31, who settled in America from London, England, in 1909
  • Stanley E. Dolph, aged 24, who immigrated to America, in 1910
  • Henry Villam Dolph, aged 31, who landed in America, in 1913
  • S. M. Dolph, aged 56, who immigrated to the United States, in 1913
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Dolph migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Dolph Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Florence Dolph, aged 20, who immigrated to Preston, Canada, in 1924
  • Kathleen Dolph, aged 25, who settled in Preston, Canada, in 1924
  • Sarah Dolph, aged 59, who immigrated to Preston, Canada, in 1924

Contemporary Notables of the name Dolph (post 1700) +

  • Joseph Norton Dolph (1835-1897), American Republican politician, U.S. Attorney for Oregon, 1865-68; Member of Oregon State Senate, 1866-74; U.S. Senator from Oregon, 1883-95
  • Ellsworth Dolph, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1904
  • Eli Dolph, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1912
  • Cyrus Abda "C. A." Dolph (1840-1914), American businessman in Portland, Oregon, director of the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company from 1883 until 1889
  • Walt Dolph Helmick (b. 1944), American Democratic Party politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates, 1989; Member of West Virginia State Senate, 1989-2012
  • Dolph Schluter, Canadian evolutionary biologist
  • Dolph Briscoe Jr. (1923-2010), American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1956, 1972; Governor of Texas, 1973-79 [3]

The Dolph Motto +

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: Firmum in vita nihil
Motto Translation: Nothing in life is permanent.

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 11) . Retrieved from on Facebook