Dorrant History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The distinguished surname Dorrant 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  while another census in 1198, lists Aceline, Ralph, Richard, and Robert Durant. 
Early Origins of the Dorrant family
The surname Dorrant 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." 
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. 
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)]." 
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." 
Early History of the Dorrant family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dorrant research. Another 111 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1140, 1296, 1578, 1564, 1660 and 1644 are included under the topic Early Dorrant History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dorrant Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Dorrant are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Dorrant include Durand, Durant, Durande, Durrane, Dant, Dante and many more.
Early Notables of the Dorrant family (pre 1700)
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. " 
Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dorrant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dorrant family
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Dorrant, or a variant listed above: William Durand, who settled in Virginia in 1635; George Durant, who came to North Carolina in 1661; Thomas Dant, who immigrated to Maryland in 1674; Thomas Durrant, who arrived with his wife and servants in Barbados in 1680.
Related Stories +
- ^ 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)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print