Dunn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Hundreds of years ago, the Gaelic name used by the Dunn family in Ireland was O Duinn or O Doinn. Both Gaelic names are derived from the Gaelic word donn, which means brown. O Doinn is the genitive case of donn.

Early Origins of the Dunn family

The surname Dunn was first found in County Meath (Irish: An Mhí) anciently part of the kingdom of Brega, located in Eastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster. The family was descended from O'Rigain one of the ancient "Four Tribes of Tara" in the Kingdom of Meath, now the county of Meath. The Kings of Meath in turn traced their regal history back to the Heremon Kings.

Early History of the Dunn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunn research. Another 291 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1180, 1268, 1691, 1700, 1758, 1642, 1713, 1651, 1733, 1692 and 1695 are included under the topic Early Dunn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dunn Spelling Variations

A name was often recorded during the Middle Ages under several different spelling variations during the life of its bearer because literacy was rare there was no real push to clearly define any of the languages found in the British Isles at that time. Variations found of the name Dunn include Dunn, Dunne, Dun, O'Dunne, O'Doyne, Doine, Doin, O'Dunn and many more.

Early Notables of the Dunn family (pre 1700)

Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dunn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dunn World Ranking

In the United States, the name Dunn is the 160th most popular surname with an estimated 144,246 people with that name. [1] However, in Canada, the name Dunn is ranked the 280th most popular surname with an estimated 15,317 people with that name. [2] And in Quebec, Canada, the name Dunn is the 906th popular surname. [3] Newfoundland, Canada ranks Dunn as 535th with 86 people. [4] Australia ranks Dunn as 109th with 24,544 people. [5] New Zealand ranks Dunn as 120th with 3,699 people. [6] The United Kingdom ranks Dunn as 150th with 34,722 people. [7]


United States Dunn migration to the United States +

Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name Dunn:

Dunn Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jo Dunn, aged 26, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [8]
  • Thomas Dunn who settled in Wymouth, Massachusetts in 1647
  • Pascho Dunn, who landed in Maryland in 1652 [8]
  • Daniell Dunn, who arrived in Virginia in 1657 [8]
  • Tho Dunn, who landed in Virginia in 1658 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dunn Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Richard Dunn, who arrived in Virginia in 1705 [8]
  • Arthur Dunn, who settled in Maryland in 1723
  • Arthur Dunn, who settled in Virginia in 1735
  • Arthur Dunn, who landed in Virginia in 1735 [8]
  • Dennis Dunn, who arrived at Philadelphia in 1746
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dunn Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Adm Dunn, aged 30, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1803 [8]
  • James Dunn, aged 24, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1804 [8]
  • Michael Dunn, who landed in New York, NY in 1804 [8]
  • William Dunn, aged 30, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1805 [8]
  • Joseph Dunn, aged 72, who arrived in New York in 1812 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dunn Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Richard Dunn, (b. 1868), aged 35, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "Aurania" arriving at Ellis, Island New York on 8th October 1903 en route to Butte, Montana, USA [9]
  • Mr. Richard Dunn, (b. 1877), aged 26, Cornish compositor travelling aboard the ship "Aurania" arriving at Ellis, Island New York on 8th October 1903 en route to Yalesville, Connecticut, USA [9]

Canada Dunn migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Dunn Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Daniel Dunn, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Danl Dunn, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Ms. Mary Dunn U.E. who settled in Belle Vue, Beaver Harboutr, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 [10]
  • Ms. Rebecca Dunn U.E. who settled in Belle Vue, Beaver Harboutr, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 [10]
  • Ms. Margaret Dunn U.E. who settled in Belle Vue, Beaver Harboutr, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dunn Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Dunn, who landed in Halifax or New York in 1811
  • Peter Dunn, who landed in Canada in 1812
  • Peter Dunn, aged 24, who landed in Canada in 1812
  • Thomas Dunn, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1822
  • James Dunn, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1827
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dunn Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Philip H. Dunn, (b. 1885), aged 18, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Philadelphia" arriving at Ellis, Island New York on 29th August 1903 en route to Toronto, Ontatio, Canada [9]

Australia Dunn migration to Australia +

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

Dunn Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Edward Dunn, (b. 1769), aged 24, Irish labourer who was convicted in Waterford, Ireland for 7 years for pick pocketing, transported aboard the "Boddingtons" on 15th February 1793, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [11]
Dunn Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Fenton Dunn, Irish convict who was convicted in Queen's County, Ireland for life, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 29th November 1801, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • Mr. John Dunn, (b. 1773), aged 36, Irish labourer who was convicted in County Mayo, Ireland for 7 years , transported aboard the "Boyd" on 10th March 1809, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1840 [13]
  • Mr. Peter Dunn, Irish convict who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Boyd" on 10th March 1809, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • Miss Mary Ann Dunn, (b. 1783), aged 30, Irish convict who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Catherine" on 8th December 1813, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • Miss Judith Dunn, (Thompson), English convict who was convicted in Norwich, Norfolk, England for life, transported aboard the "Broxbournebury" in January 1814, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [15]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Dunn 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:

Dunn Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • J Dunn, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • William Dunn, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Henry M Dunn, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841
  • James Dunn, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Lady Nugent
  • James Dunn, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Dunn migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [16]
Dunn Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • Miss Dunn, who settled in Barbados in 1774

Contemporary Notables of the name Dunn (post 1700) +

  • Donald G. Dunn (1923-2021), American U.S. Army veteran of World War II and founder of Plaskolite LLC,; for his heroism, he was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart
  • Stephen Elliot Dunn (1939-2021), American poet and educator who authored fifteen collections of poetry; he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his 2001 collection, Different Hours
  • J. Michael Dunn (1941-2021), American philosopher, Oscar Ewing Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Professor Emeritus of Informatics and Computer Science
  • Colton Dunn (b. 1977), American comedian, actor, writer, and producer, best known for his role as Garrett on the NBC workplace comedy Superstore (2015–2021)
  • Martin John Dunn (1956-2020), American lawyer and politician who served as Mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts
  • Carola Dunn (b. 1946), British-born, American writer, known for her Daisy Dalrymple series and Cornish Mystery series
  • Holly Suzette Dunn (1957-2016), American country music singer and songwriter, best known for her singles "Are You Ever Gonna Love Me" and "You Really Had Me Going"
  • Richard L. Dunn (1957-2016), American professional NHL ice hockey defenseman, member of the US national team at the 1981 Canada Cup and 1986 Ice Hockey World Championship
  • James Bernard Dunn (1927-2016), American politician, Member of the South Dakota Senate (1973-2000)
  • Katherine Karen Dunn (1945-2016), American best-selling novelist, best known for her novel Geek Love (1989)
  • ... (Another 26 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. John Dunn, British Trimmer from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking [17]
  • Mrs. Jane Dunn (1866-1914), née Elliott Canadian Second Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [18]
Halifax Explosion
  • Master William P. H.  Dunn (1917-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [19]
  • Mrs. Emily  Dunn (1863-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [19]
  • Mr. W. Philip  Dunn (1883-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [19]
  • Mr. Charles H  Dunn (1884-1917), Scottish Able Seaman aboard the SS Picton from Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom who died in the explosion [19]
  • Mrs. Ethel  Dunn (1886-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [19]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Stephen E Dunn (b. 1922), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Honiley, Warwickshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [20]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. John Dunn, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking, died whilst a Prisoner of War in 1944 [21]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. William Dunn, British Stoker 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [22]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Thomas Dunn, English Fireman from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [23]
  • Mr. Albert Charles Dunn, English Intermediate 6th Engineer from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [23]
  • Mr. Thomas W. Dunn, Canadian 3rd Class passenger from Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [24]


The Dunn 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: Mullach a-bu
Motto Translation: Victory for the Dunns.


Suggested Readings for the name Dunn +

  • The Ancestry of Harvey Dunn by Judith Miner Hine Luedemann.
  • The Dunn Descendants by Charles Dunn Owens.

  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  3. ^ https://statistique.quebec.ca/fr/document/noms-de-famille-au-quebec/tableau/les-1-000-premiers-noms-de-famille-selon-le-rang-quebec
  4. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  7. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  10. ^ 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
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/boddingtons
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 27th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Boyd
  14. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retreived 2nd January 2021, retreived from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/catherine
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/broxbournebury
  16. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  17. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  18. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 16) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  19. ^ 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
  20. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  21. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  22. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  23. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 10) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  24. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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