Donnartay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Donnartay is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Donnartay family lived in the township of Davenport, in the parish of Astbury in East Cheshire.
Early Origins of the Donnartay family
The surname Donnartay was first found in Cheshire where they were descended from Ormus de Davenport of Davenport Hall Farm  in the parish of Astbury in East Cheshire. He is the first recorded ancestor of the family.
"The Davenports claim precedence among the knightly families of Cheshire, - that 'seed-plot of gentry,' 'the mother and the nurse of the gentility of England,' and are traced directly to the Conquest." 
"The manor [of Marton, Cheshire] was given to an ancestor of the Davenport family, as a dowry with the daughter of Venables, Baron of Kinderton, in the reign of Henry I." 
Early History of the Donnartay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Donnartay research. Another 150 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1597, 1670, 1566, 1645, 1631, 1598, 1680, 1623 and 1477 are included under the topic Early Donnartay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Donnartay Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Davenport, Davenporte, Donarty and others.
Early Notables of the Donnartay family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Davenport (1597-1670), an English Puritan clergyman from Coventry, Warwickshire, co-founder of the American colony of New Haven, eponym of Davenport College, Yale University. 
Sir Humphrey Davenport of Davenport (1566-1645), was Chief...
Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Donnartay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Donnartay family to Ireland
Some of the Donnartay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 34 words (2 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 Donnartay family
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Donnartay or a variant listed above: John Davenport who settled in New Haven, Conn. in 1630; he was first minister there, and an ex Mayor of Coventry, England. Descended from him was William Bales Davenport of Brooklyn. Richard Davenport of Salem, who settled there in 1632. Elizabeth Davenport settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1637.
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- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print