The Donitt surname is a habitational name, taken on from Downhead in Somerset
, or Donhead in Wiltshire
. These place names both derived from the Old English words "dun," meaning "hill," and "he-afod," meaning the geographic "head" of land. There was also a place so named in Caithness
Early Origins of the Donitt family
The surname Donitt was first found in Wiltshire
. Originally from Normandy
, the name was originally spelt Dannet, for De Anet or D'Alneto. D'Alnai is mentioned at the Battle of Hastings (Wace) as 'Sire d'Alnai.' CITATION[CLOSE]
The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
Early History of the Donitt family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Donitt research.Another 345 words (25 lines of text) covering the years 1246, 1296, 1500, 1577, 1648 and 1663 are included under the topic Early Donitt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Donitt Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations
under which the name Donitt has appeared include Dunnett, Dunnet, Donnatt, Donnat, Downett, Downatt, Dunett, Dunet, Donnett and many more.
Early Notables of the Donitt family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Donitt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Donitt family to Ireland
Some of the Donitt family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 78 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Donitt family to the New World and Oceana
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England
was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England
at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Donitt arrived in North America very early: John Dunnet who settled in America in 1772. By the mid-1800's, the Dunnetts were among the many who traveled across the mid-west to the coast of California to make their home in San Francisco..