Show ContentsDoreen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Doreen was first brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name is patronymic in origin, signifying "the son of Durant," an Old French personal name. Looking at records from this time, we found Geoffry, Roger and Henry Durant who claimed descent from Normandy c. 1180-95 [1] while another census in 1198, lists Aceline, Ralph, Richard, and Robert Durant. [2]

Early Origins of the Doreen family

The surname Doreen was first found in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and Shropshire at Tong, a parish, in the union of Shiffnall, Shiffnall division of the hundred of Brimstree. "Tong Castle, the seat of the family of Durant, a magnificent mansion remodelled in the last century, is crowned with numerous turrets, pinnacles, and eight lofty domes, producing a striking effect: it contains many valuable pictures and cabinets." [3]

The Domesday Book of 1086 has the first record of the family. Durandus, the Latin form of the name in use at that time was registered in Winton, Hampshire as holding lands there at that time. [4]

Another branch of the family were found at Wallingswells in the West Riding of Yorkshire. "In excavating near the house [of Sir Thomas Woolaston White], in 1829, several stone coffins were found, and amongst them that of Dame Margery Dourant, second abbess of the convent, who died in the reign of Richard I ([1189-1199)]." [3]

And yet another branch of the family was found in Cornwall. "The manor of Lanestock, which is partly in the parish [of St. Austell], and partly in Tywardreath, has of late years passed under the same title as Trenance Austell. This was anciently in the family of Durant, from whom it passed into that of the Arundells of Trerice in Newlyn. The manor of Thorlebear [in the parish of Launcells, Cornwall] was formerly the property of the Durants, by whose heiress it was carried in marriage to the Arundells of Trerice." [5]

Early History of the Doreen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Doreen research. Another 111 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1140, 1296, 1564, 1578, 1631, 1644, 1660 and 1715 are included under the topic Early Doreen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Doreen Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Durand, Durant, Durande, Durrane, Dant, Dante and many more.

Early Notables of the Doreen family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Drant (d. 1578?), English divine and poet, born at Hagworthingham in Lincolnshire, son of Thomas Drant. "On the occasion of Queen Elizabeth's visit to the university in August 1564 he composed copies of English, Latin, and Greek verses, which he presented to her majesty. " [6] John Durnat...
Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Doreen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Doreen migration to Australia +

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

Doreen Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Hugh Doreen, aged 20, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Oriental,"

New Zealand Doreen migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Doreen Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Peter Doreen, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Bengal Merchant [7]
  • Peter jun Doreen, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Bengal Merchant [7]
  • Thomas Doreen, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Bengal Merchant [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Doreen (post 1700) +

  • Jessica Doreen Degenhardt (b. 2002), German luger, a four-time Junior World Champion and won gold medal at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics at doubles' race and silver medal at the individual race
  • Mary Doreen Weeden DBE (b. 1944), birth name of Mary Doreen Archer, Baroness Archer, British scientist specialising in solar power conversion
  • Gillian Doreen Triggs (b. 1945), Australian public international lawyer and academic, professor at the University of Sydney, Dean of the Sydney Law School (2007 to 2012)
  • Doreen Mantle (1926-2023), South African-born British actress, best known for her role as Jean Warboys in One Foot in the Grave (1990–2000)
  • Doreen Mary Carwithen (1922-2003), British composer of classical and film music from Haddenham, Buckinghamshire who was also known as Mary Alwyn following her marriage to William Alwyn
  • Doreen Ellen Hamilton (1951-2022), née Munholland, Canadian politician, MLA for Regina Wascana Plains (1991-2007), Mayor of Regina, Saskatchewan (1988)
  • Doreen Brownstone OM (1922-2022), English-born, Canadian actress, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, known for Silent Night (2012), Therapy (2018) and The Murdoch Mysteries (2004)
  • Miss Doreen Mary Malize Calder B.E.M., British recipient of the British Empire Medal on 8th June 2018, for services to Equestrianism and to the community in Berwickshire [8]
  • Mrs. Doreen Jenny Lee B.E.M., British Volunteer for Citizens Advice Bournemouth, was appointed Medallist of the British Empire Medal 29th December 2018 for services to the community in Bournemouth [9]
  • Doreen Spooner (1928-2019), English photographer, the first woman to work as a staff photographer on a Fleet Street newspaper


  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)
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  6. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  7. Shadow Time Settlers (Retrieved 5th November 2010), retrieved from http://shadowsoftime.co.nz/settlers.html
  8. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 31 October 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/62310/supplement/B1
  9. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists


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