Show ContentsDunkin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Picts were the ancient Scottish tribe where the ancestors of the Dunkin family lived. The name Dunkin comes from the Gaelic Donnchad, Duncha, Donnachadh and others which literally means brown warrior.

"On an ogham stone at Glan Usk near Crickhowel in Wales the name occurs spelled Dunocatus, which points to 'fort warrior,' from dun, 'fort,' as the meaning of the name. The exact meaning is therefore uncertain." [1]

Early Origins of the Dunkin family

The surname Dunkin was first found in Forfarshire part of the Tayside region of North Eastern Scotland, and present day Council Area of Angus, where the Clan has a long and distinguished history dating back to before 1000 AD.

They claim descent from Dunchad, the 11th Abbott of Iona who died in 717. He was also the progenitor of the Robertsons. On their maternal side, they are related to King Duncan of Scotland who was killed by MacBeth. [1]

"Willelmus filius Dunecan witnessed the gift of Swintun to HernuIf the knight c. 1135. Dunecanus comes witnessed confirmation charter by William the Lion to Jacobus de Pert of lands of Rosin clerac, n.d. Willelmus filius Duuecani, c. 1200. Dunecan, parson of Duuglas, appears as charter witness between 1240-1249. John Dunkan held a 'waste' in Berwick-on-Tweed in 1367, and probably John Duncanson or Dunkanson, mayor of Berwick in the same year was his son." [1]

The Robertsons or Clan Donnachaidh derive their name and ancestry from Fat Duncan (Donnchadh Reamhar) who was chief of the Clan at the time of Robert the Bruce and led the clan at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

Early History of the Dunkin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunkin research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1451, 1600, 1618, 1640, 1649, 1659, 1660, 1703, 1731, 1735, 1745, 1800, 1804 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Dunkin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dunkin Spelling Variations

Before the first dictionaries appeared in the last few hundred years, scribes spelled according to sound. spelling variations are common among Scottish names. Dunkin has been spelled Duncan, Dunecan, Dunkan, Junkan, Junkin, Duncans, Dunkans, Dunckane, Dunkane, Dunekan, Duncin, Duncen, Duncine, Junken and many more.

Early Notables of the Dunkin family

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Daniel Duncan (1649-1735) French-born, Scottish physician, Huguenot by religion, known as a writer of iatrochemical works. He was from an ancient Scottish family, several members of which belonged to the medical profession, was born in 1649 at Montauban in Languedoc, where his father, Peter Duncan, was professor of physic. [2] Samuel Duncon (fl. 1600-1659), was...
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dunkin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dunkin Ranking

In the United States, the name Dunkin is the 7,911st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Dunkin family to Ireland

Some of the Dunkin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Dunkin migration to the United States +

In those unstable times, many had no choice but to leave their beloved homelands. Sickness and poverty hounded travelers to North America, but those who made it were welcomed with land and opportunity. These settlers gave the young nations of Canada and the United States a strong backbone as they stood up for their beliefs as United Empire Loyalists and in the American War of Independence. In this century, the ancestors of these brave Scots have begun to recover their illustrious heritage through Clan societies and other heritage organizations. Early passenger and immigration lists reveal many Scottish settlers bearing the name Dunkin:

Dunkin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Samuel Dunkin, from Kent, who arrived in New England in 1634 aboard the ship "Hercules", bound for Cambridge [4]
  • Samuel Dunkin, who landed in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1638 [4]
  • James Dunkin, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [4]
  • Jane Dunkin, who landed in Virginia in 1663-1664 [4]
  • John Dunkin, who arrived in the Windward Islands in 1687
Dunkin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Dunkin, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [4]
  • John Dunkin, who arrived in New England in 1718 [4]
  • Bryan Dunkin, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [4]
Dunkin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Dunkin, aged 25, who landed in Connecticut in 1812 [4]
  • David Dunkin, aged 25, who arrived in Connecticut in 1812 [4]
  • J T Dunkin, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]

Australia Dunkin migration to Australia +

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

Dunkin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Dunkin, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1846 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Dunkin (post 1700) +

  • Cameron Dunkin (1956-2024), American boxing manager of such notables as Diego Corrales, Terence Crawford, Johnny Tapia, Kelly Pavlik, Timothy Bradley and Mikey Garcia
  • Kenneth Dunkin, American politician, Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives (2002-)
  • Paul S. Dunkin (1905-1975), American writer, librarian and professor
  • Tony Dunkin (b. 1970), American former college basketball standout for Coastal Carolina University
  • Richard W. Dunkin, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 9 aerial victories
  • Joe Dunkin, American Republican politician, Chair of Aiken County Republican Party, 1978-81 [6]
  • Alfred John Dunkin (1812-1879), Scottish antiquary and historian
  • John Dunkin (1782-1846), Scottish topographer
  • William Dunkin (1709-1765), Irish poet
  • Robert Dunkin (1761-1831), British Quaker businessman
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Dunkin Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Disce pati
Motto Translation: Learn to suffer.

  1. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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)
  5. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HOOGHLY 1846. Retrieved from
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 11) . Retrieved from on Facebook