Donnitt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Donnitt 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, Scotland.

Early Origins of the Donnitt family

The surname Donnitt 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.' [1]

Early History of the Donnitt family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Donnitt research. Another 278 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1246, 1296, 1500, 1577, 1648 and 1663 are included under the topic Early Donnitt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Donnitt 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 Donnitt has undergone many spelling variations, including Dunnett, Dunnet, Donnatt, Donnat, Downett, Downatt, Dunett, Dunet, Donnett and many more.

Early Notables of the Donnitt family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Donnitt family

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 Donnitt were among those contributors: 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..



  1. ^ 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)


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