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The original Gaelic form of the Irish name Dornan was O Duirnin or O Dornian, possibly derived from the word "dorn," which means "fist."

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The surname Dornan was first found in County Antrim (Irish: Aontroim) located in the province of Ulster in present day Northern Ireland, where they had been anciently seated for many centuries and held territories in that county.

The search for the origins of the name Dornan family name revealed numerous spelling variations. These variants can be somewhat accounted for when it is realized that before widespread literacy people only recognized their name by pronunciation; it was up to scribes to decide how it was to be formally recorded. Variations found include Durnan, Durnane, Durneen, Durnin, Durnain, Dornan, Dornain and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dornan research. Another 321 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1596 and 1700 are included under the topic Early Dornan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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

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Thousands of Irish left in their homeland in the 18th and 19th centuries to escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, and in the search of a plot of land to call their own. These immigrants arrived at the eastern shores of North America, early on settling and breaking the land, and, later, building the bridges, canals, and railroads essential to the emerging nations of United States and Canada. Many others would toil for low wages in the dangerous factories of the day. Although there had been a steady migration of Irish to North America over these years, the greatest influx of Irish immigrants came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Dornan or a variant listed above:

Dornan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John and Mary Dornan who settled in New York State with their three children in 1803
  • Mary Dornan, aged 40, arrived in New York, NY in 1803
  • Edward Dornan, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1828
  • Alexander, Jacob, and Robert Dornan landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1835 and 1852
  • John Dornan, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1856
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  • John Pickens Dornan (1880-1959), American cricketer
  • Robert Kenneth "Bob" Dornan (b. 1933), American Republican and former member of the United States House of Representatives
  • Alan Dornan (b. 1962), retired Northern Irish footballer and manager
  • Jamie Dornan (b. 1982), Northern Irish fashion model turned musician and occasional actor
  • Andy Dornan (b. 1961), Scottish former football player
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Citations



    Other References

    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. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    3. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
    4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    5. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
    6. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
    7. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
    8. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
    9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    11. ...

    The Dornan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dornan Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 13 December 2015 at 21:56.

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