Show ContentsDonne History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Donne family

The surname Donne was first found in Cheshire at Duddon, a township, in the parish of Tarvin, union of Great Boughton, Second division of the hundred of Eddisbury.

"The manor was for many generations in moieties between the families of Bruen and Done; the first passed, with Bruen-Stapleford, to Mr. Wilbraham, and the other with the Utkinton estate to Mr. Arden. Duddon Hall, which continued to be the seat of a younger branch of the Dones long after the extinction of the elder branch, is now a farmhouse." [1]

However, one of the first records of the family was John de Donne, rector of the church of St. Elphin, Warrington, Lancashire from 1361 to 1362. [2]

John Donne (1572-1631), the famous English poet and cleric was born in London into a recusant Roman Catholic family when practice of that religion was illegal in England. His father was of Welsh descent and a warden of the Ironmongers Company in the City of London. Young John studied at the University of Cambridge, but was unable to obtain a degree because of his Catholicism. Despite these challenges, he rose to become one of the most important poets of his era and had to write anti-Catholic polemics to do so. Eventually he was awarded an honorary doctorate in divinity from Cambridge University.

Early History of the Donne family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Donne research. Another 242 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1527, 1552, 1821, 1572, 1631, 1614, 1420, 1503, 1558, 1572, 1631, 1621, 1631, 1604, 1662 and 1617 are included under the topic Early Donne History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Donne Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Donne has undergone many spelling variations, including Done, Donn, Donne, Doan, Doane, Doune and others.

Early Notables of the Donne family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir John Donne (c.1420-1503), a Welsh courtier, diplomat and soldier, a notable figure of the Yorkist party; and Sir Charles Doune of Doune. Gabriel Donne or Dunne (d. 1558), was a Cistercian monk who belonged to the family of that name seated at Ralph Donue in Devonshire. [3] John Donne the Elder (1572-1631), was an English poet, satirist, lawyer and a cleric in the Church of England. Born in London...
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Donne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Donne migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Donne were among those contributors:

Donne Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Donne, who landed in Virginia in 1637 [4]
  • Richard Donne, who landed in Virginia in 1639 [4]
  • John Donne, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [4]
  • Margaret Donne, who landed in Maryland in 1678 [4]
  • Robert Donne, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1683 [4]
Donne Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Donne, who landed in Virginia in 1700 [4]
Donne Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Donne, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1865 [4]

Australia Donne migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Donne Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Donne, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1846 [5]
  • William Donne, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Troubadour" in 1850 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Donne (post 1700) +

  • Elena Delle Donne (b. 1989), American WNBA professional basketball player for the Washington Mystics
  • William Bodham Donne (1807-1882), English examiner of plays, born 29 July 1807; his grandfather was an eminent surgeon at Norwich [7]
  • William Stephens Donne (1875-1942), English gold medalist cricket player at the 1900 Summer Olympics, President of the Rugby Football Union
  • Maria Dalle Donne (1778-1842), Italian physician and a director at the University of Bologna, the first female doctorate in medicine
  • Alfred François Donné (1801-1878), French bacteriologist and physician who discovered Trichomonas vaginalis and leukemia, he also invented photomicrography
  • Donne Trotter (b. 1950), American politician, Member of the Illinois Senate (1993-)

The Donne 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: Omnia mei dona Dei
Motto Translation: All my goods are the gift of God.

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. 'Townships: Scarisbrick', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1907), pp. 265-276. British History Online [accessed 21 January 2017].
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HOOGHLY 1846. Retrieved from
  6. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) TROUBADOUR 1850. Retrieved
  7. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020 on Facebook