Dorgan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Dorgan surname is a habitational name, originally taken on from the city of Durham, in northeastern England. This place name comes from the Old English "dun," meaning "hil." Another source claims the name "is derived from the Saxon Bun and holm, a town in a wood." [1]

Early Origins of the Dorgan family

The surname Dorgan was first found in " Durham in the north of England, anciently Dunhelm or Dunholm." [2] [3] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Walter de Durham and William de Dureham in London and John de Durame in Essex. [4] By far the lion's share of records are found north in Scotland where "Robertus de Durham was one of twelve Scots knights appointed to settle the laws of the marches in 1249. The seal of Walter Durham of Dumfriesshire who rendered homage in 1290 reads S' Valteri Dwrant. " [2]

Early History of the Dorgan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dorgan research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1246, 1296, 1565, 1399, 1622, 1658, 1611 and 1684 are included under the topic Early Dorgan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dorgan Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Durham, Durehame, Durrame, Dirom and others.

Early Notables of the Dorgan family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was Alexander Durhame, argentier to the king and queen in 1565; John Durham, English politician, Member of Parliament for Middlesex in 1399; and Alexander Durham, Minder of the Royal Mint. James Durham (1622-1658), was a Scottish covenanting divine...
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dorgan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Dorgan family to Ireland

Some of the Dorgan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Dorgan migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Dorgan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Dorgan, who landed in Tippecanoe County, Ind in 1849 [5]
  • Con Dorgan, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1880 [5]

New Zealand Dorgan 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:

Dorgan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Eliza Dorgan, aged 21, a servant, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gainsborough" in 1878


The Dorgan 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: Ultra fert animus
Motto Translation: The mind bears onwards


  1. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. ^ Sims, Clifford Stanley The Origin and Signification of Scottish Surnames. 1862. Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ 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)


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