Show ContentsDunkley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Dunkley date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence in the region of Dinkley in the county of Lancashire. The surname Dunkley is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came.

Early Origins of the Dunkley family

The surname Dunkley was first found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Dunkley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunkley research. Another 68 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dunkley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dunkley Spelling Variations

Dunkley has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Dunkley have been found, including Dunkley, Dunkerly, Dunkleigh, Dunklee, Dunkersley, Dunkerley and many more.

Early Notables of the Dunkley family

Notables of this surname at this time include:

  • Roger Dunkley of Dunkley

Dunkley Ranking

In the United States, the name Dunkley is the 11,082nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

United States Dunkley migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Dunkleys to arrive on North American shores:

Dunkley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Dunkley, aged 17, who arrived in Virginia in 1684 [2]
  • John Dunkley, who landed in Virginia in 1699 [2]
Dunkley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Dunkley, who settled in Maryland in 1775
Dunkley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Dunkley, who arrived in New York in 1825 [2]

Australia Dunkley migration to Australia +

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

Dunkley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Dunkley, British convict who was convicted in London, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "England" on 6th June 1835, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • John Dunkley, aged 27, a farmer, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "William Money" [4]
  • John Dunkley, aged 27, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Money" in 1849 [4]
  • Sarah Dunkley, aged 27, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Money" in 1849 [4]
  • John Dunkley, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Switzerland"

New Zealand Dunkley 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:

Dunkley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Dunkley, (b. 1823), aged 33, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Joseph Fletcher" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 24th October 1856 [5]
  • Mr. Dennis Dunkley, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "George Canning" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1857 [5]
  • Mr. Thomas Dunkley, (b. 1829), aged 34, British farm labourer travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Lancashire Witch" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 13th October 1863 [5]
  • John Brown Dunkley, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ernestina" in 1865

Contemporary Notables of the name Dunkley (post 1700) +

  • Philip Dunkley (b. 1951), retired English cricketer
  • Professor Joanna Dunkley O.B.E., British astrophysicist and Professor of Physics, appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to science [6]
  • John Dunkley (1891-1947), Jamaican painter and sculptor
  • Louisa Margaret Dunkley (1866-1927), Australian telegraphist and labor organizer
  • Julien Dunkley (b. 1975), Jamaican silver medalist track and field athlete
  • Andrew Dunkley (b. 1968), retired Australian rules footballer
  • Lorna Dunkley, British television news presenter
  • Errol Dunkley, Jamaican reggae musician

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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)
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th April 2022).
  4. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) "WILLIAM MONEY" 1848-49. Retrieved from
  5. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  6. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, on Facebook