Dunbar History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

A Boernician family in ancient Scotland were the ancestors of those who first used the name Dunbar. They lived in the barony of Dunbar on the North Sea coast near Edinburgh. The place name comes from the Gaelic words dùn, meaning "a fort," and barr, meaning "top," or "summit."

Early Origins of the Dunbar family

The surname Dunbar was first found in the barony of Dunbar in the Lothians where they held a family seat from very ancient times; ever since the 11th century, when Cospatrick was deprived of his Earldom of Northumberland by William the Conqueror, and fled to Scotland. There he was granted the lands of Dunbar and Lothian, Cumnock in Ayrshire, and Mochrum in Wigtown by Malcolm Ceanmore, the King of Scotland. Traditionally, the family descend from Crinan of Dunkeld, the Earl of Northumberland, ancestor of both King Duncan I (d. 1040) and the Earls Gospatrick, who were the later the Earls of March. Of this line, Patrick V, Earl of March (c.1285-1369) gave English King Edward II sanctuary at the fortress of Dunbar Castle following the Battle of Bannockburn. He was one of the Scottish nobles, who signed, the declaration of Scottish independence to the Pope dated at Arbroath on 6 April 1320. He was married to the infamous "Black Agnes," (Agnes Dunbar, 4th Countess of Moray), "that brawling boisterous Scottish wench" as an English balladeer had called her. In the Earl's absence, she held Dunbar castle for several months before succumbing to the overwhelming English army in 1337.

Important Dates for the Dunbar family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunbar research. Another 132 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1370, 1457, 1435, 1390, 1465, 1530, 1532, 1490, 1547, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Dunbar History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dunbar Spelling Variations

Spelling variations occur frequently in Scottish names that date from the medieval era. They result from a general lack of grammatical rules and the tendency to spell names according to sound. Dunbar has been spelled Dunbarr, Dumbar, Dumbare, Dumber, Dounber, Dunbar, Dounbar and many more.

Early Notables of the Dunbar family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was John Dunbar, Earl of Moray (died 1390), a Scottish nobleman; William Dunbar (c.1465-1530), Scottish poet, Franciscan friar, and later became a diplomatic agent for...
Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dunbar Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Dunbar family to Ireland

Some of the Dunbar family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dunbar migration to the United States

In the 20th century, the ancestors of many of those Boernician-Scottish people still populate North America. They distributed themselves on either side of the border at the time of the War of Independence. United Empire Loyalists went north to Canada and those who wanted a new nation stayed south. Both groups went on to found great nations. Some of the first North American settlers with Dunbar name or one of its variants:

Dunbar Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Dunbar, who settled in Virginia in 1650
  • Robert Dunbar, who arrived in Hingham, Massachusetts in 1655 [1]
Dunbar Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Dunbar, who arrived in Virginia in 1716 [1]
  • Hancock Dunbar, who landed in Virginia in 1725 [1]
  • David Dunbar, who landed in New England in 1729 [1]
  • Priscilla Dunbar, who settled in Savannah, Georgia in 1734
  • Priscilla Dunbar, who landed in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1735 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dunbar Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mathew Dunbar, who arrived in America in 1807 [1]
  • James Dunbar, who arrived in America in 1809 [1]
  • George Dunbar, who landed in Georgia in 1835 [1]
  • Mr. Dunbar, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [1]
  • A J Dunbar, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Dunbar migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Dunbar Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John Dunbarnget U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 6 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 20, 1783 at East River, New York [2]
  • Mrs. Ann Dunbarnget U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 63 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 20, 1783 at East River, New York [2]
  • Mr. George Dunbar U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [2]
  • Mr. John Dunbar U.E. who settled in Charlotee County, New Brunswick c. 1784 member of the Port Matoon Association [2]
  • William Dunbar, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1784
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dunbar Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Dunbar, aged 61, a carpenter, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834
  • Jane Dunbar, aged 4, who landed in Quebec in 1835
  • Margaret Dunbar, aged 6, who arrived in Quebec in 1835
  • Mary Dunbar, aged 40, who landed in Quebec in 1835
  • Mary, Dunbar Jr., aged 30, who arrived in Quebec in 1835
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Dunbar migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Dunbar Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Dunbar, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Camoena" in 1843 [3]
  • Claudius Dunbar, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Abberton" in 1846 [4]
  • John Dunbar, aged 54, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1860 aboard the ship "Grand Trianon"
  • Anne Dunbar, aged 17, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1860 aboard the ship "Grand Trianon"
  • Elizabeth Dunbar, aged 13, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1860 aboard the ship "Grand Trianon"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Dunbar 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:

Dunbar Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Dunbar, (b. 1804), aged 43, Scottish settler born in Renfrewshire arriving as Detachment of the Royal New Zealand Fencibles travelling aboard the ship "Sir Robert Sale" from Gravesend via Cork arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th October 1847 [5]
  • Mrs. Mary Dunbar Née Cahill, (b. 1817), aged 30, Scottish settler travelling aboard the ship "Sir Robert Sale" from Gravesend via Cork arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th October 1847 [5]
  • Mr. William Dunbar, (b. 1842), aged 5, Scottish settler travelling aboard the ship "Sir Robert Sale" from Gravesend via Cork arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th October 1847 [5]
  • Miss Mary Dunbar, (b. 1844), aged 3, Scottish settler travelling aboard the ship "Sir Robert Sale" from Gravesend via Cork arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th October 1847 [5]
  • Mr. John Dunbar, (b. 1845), aged 2, Scottish settler travelling aboard the ship "Sir Robert Sale" from Gravesend via Cork arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th October 1847 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Dunbar (post 1700)

  • Jim Dunbar (1929-2019), American radio program director, talk show host and news anchor
  • Ronald "Ron" Dunbar (1939-2018), American Grammy Award winning songwriter from Detroit, Michigan, known for co-writing the hit songs "Give Me Just a Little More Time", "Band of Gold", and "Patches"
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), African-American poet, novelist, and playwright
  • Jim Dunbar (b. 1929), American radio program director, talk show host and news anchor
  • Emmons Burdette Dunbar (1882-1954), American agriculturalist and college football coach
  • Bonita Sue "Bonnie" Dunbar (b. 1948), American former professor in the department of molecular and cell biology at Baylor University
  • William Dunbar (1750-1810), Scottish-born, American merchant, plantation owner, naturalist, astronomer and explorer
  • Dorothy Dunbar Lawson (1902-1992), American silent film actress of the 1920s and socialite [6]
  • Bonnie Jeanne Dunbar PH.D. (b. 1949), American former NASA Astronaut with over 1,208 hours in space, former president and CEO of The Museum of Flight until April 2010 [7]
  • Helen Dunbar (1863-1933), American theatrical performer and silent film actress
  • ... (Another 27 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Dunbar family

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Alexander  Dunbar (1874-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [8]

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Citations

  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. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CAMOENA 1843. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1843Camoena.gif
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ABBERTON 1846. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846Abberton.htm
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ Dorothy Dunbar. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Dorothy Dunbar. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Dunbar
  7. ^ NASA Astronauts Homepage. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Bonnie Dunbar. Retrieved from http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/dunbar.html
  8. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
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