Dorrian History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Gaelic is at the heart of all the Irish surnames that can be found throughout the world today. The original Gaelic form of the name Dorrian is O Deoradhain, which was later shortened to O Deorain. Both names are probably derived from the word deoradh, referring to an exile.

Early Origins of the Dorrian family

The surname Dorrian was first found in Leix (Irish: Laois) formerly known as Queen's County, located in central Ireland, in Leinster Province, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the Dorrian family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dorrian research. Another 212 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1523, 1540, 1807, 1814, 1835, 1878, and 1885 are included under the topic Early Dorrian History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dorrian Spelling Variations

The spelling of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was rarely consistent. This inconsistency was due to the scribes and church officials' attempts to record orally defined names in writing. The common practice of recording names as they sounded resulted in spelling variations such as Doran, Dorran, O'Doran, O'Deorain, Dorain, Doron and others.

Early Notables of the Dorrian family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family name at this time was Maurice Doran, Bishop of Leighlin who was murdered by his archdeacon in 1523; Charles Guilfoyle Doran (1835-1909), Irish...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dorrian Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Dorrian migration to the United States +

The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish migrating out of their homeland in a great measure due to the oppressive imperial policies of the English government and landowners. Many of these Irish families sailed to North America aboard overcrowded passenger ships. By far, the largest influx of Irish immigrants to North America occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These particular immigrants were instrumental in creation of the United States and Canada as major industrial nations because the many essential elements such as the roadways, canals, bridges, and railways required an enormous quantity of cheap labor, which these poor immigrants provided. Later generations of Irish in these countries also went on to make valuable contributions in such fields as the arts, commerce, politics, and education. Extensive research into immigration and passenger lists has revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Dorrian:

Dorrian Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Con Dorrian, who landed in Arkansas in 1885 [1]

New Zealand Dorrian 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:

Dorrian Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Catherine Dorrian, (b. 1841), aged 24, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship "Eastern Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 4th January 1865 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Dorrian (post 1700) +

  • Jim Dorrian (b. 1931), American soccer player at the 1956 Summer Olympics
  • Myles Dorrian (b. 1982), Australian rugby union player for London Irish
  • Patrick Dorrian DD (1814-1885), Irish Roman Catholic Prelate, 23rd Lord Bishop of Down and Connor
  • Lee Dorrian (b. 1968), English singer, former vocalist of Napalm Death
  • Leeona June Dorrian (b. 1957), Lady Dorrian, Scottish jurist, Lord Justice Clerk (2016-), Senator of the College of Justice (2005)
  • Alex Dorrian CBE (b. 1946), Scottish executive vice-president of Thales Group (2006-)


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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