Dorning History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The original Gaelic form of the Irish name Dorning was O Duirnin or O Dornian, possibly derived from the word "dorn," which means "fist." [1]

Early Origins of the Dorning family

The surname Dorning was first found in County Antrim (Irish: Aontroim) located in the province of Ulster in present day Northern Ireland. The name is also specific to "Ballydurnian in County Antrim, but Durnian is the more usual form in west Ulster." [2]

Early History of the Dorning family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dorning research. Another 164 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1596 and 1700 are included under the topic Early Dorning History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dorning Spelling Variations

Individual scribes in the Ireland during the Middle Ages would often record a person's name various ways. How the name was recorded depended on what that particular scribe believed the proper spelling for the name pronounced to him was. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the Dorning family name include Durnan, Durnane, Durneen, Durnin, Durnain, Dornan, Dornain and many more.

Early Notables of the Dorning family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Dorning family

In the late 18th century, Irish families began emigrating to North America in the search of a plot of land to call their own. This pattern of emigration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s cause thousands of Irish to flee the death and disease that accompanied the disaster. Those that made it alive to the shores of the United States and British North America (later to become Canada) were, however, instrumental in the development of those two powerful nations. Many of these Irish immigrants proudly bore the name of Dorning: Nicholas Durnan who settled in Virginia in 1734; Charles Durnin settled in Newcastle in Co. Delaware in 1827; John Durnin arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1868.


Contemporary Notables of the name Dorning (post 1700) +

  • Stacy Dorning (b. 1958), English actress, best known for her role in The Adventures of Black Beauty (1973–1974), daughter of Robert Dorning
  • Robert Dorning (1913-1989), English musician, ballet dancer, and stage, film, and television actor
  • Dorning Rasbotham (1730-1791), English author from Manchester, son of Peter Rasbotham


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, More Irish Families. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0)
  2. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Supplement to Irish Families. Baltimore: Genealogical Book Company, 1964. Print.


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