Dunnem History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Anglo-Saxon name Dunnem comes from when the family resided in the parish of Dunham, in the county of Norfolk. The place-name is made up of two old English elements: dun, which is a word for hill; and ham, which means home. The translation of the name is home on the hill.
Early Origins of the Dunnem family
The surname Dunnem was first found in Norfolk at Downham Market, often referred to as Downham, a town and civil parish. The place dates back to c. 1050 and was listed later in 1086 in the Domesday Book as Dunham. However, there are several more listings of the place name including Little Downham in Cambridgeshire, Downham, Lancashire and Downham, Essex.
Wilmslow in Cheshire was an ancient family seat for the family. "The church is a handsome and very ancient structure in the decorated and later English styles, with a square tower; it comprises a nave, chancel, and two aisles, of which the east end of one and the west end of the other are inclosed as sepulchral chapels, for the families of Dunham and Trafford." 
Downham Estate is a housing estate in Downham, south east London named in honour of Lord Downham, who was chairman of the London County Council between 1919-1920.
Downham Hall is an English country house in Downham, Lancashire, but this estate was never held by anyone with the family name.
Early History of the Dunnem family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunnem research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1332, 1511, 1577, 1561, 1577, 1579, 1634, 1561, 1585 and 1652 are included under the topic Early Dunnem History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dunnem Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Dunnem has been recorded under many different variations, including Dunham, Dunnam, Downham, Dounham, Downnam and others.
Early Notables of the Dunnem family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include William Downham (1511-1577) chaplain to Princess Elizabeth, Bishop of Chester (1561-1577.)
William Damon or Daman was one of Queen Elizabeth's musicians and is probably the earliest composer who set the Psalms in the vernacular to part-music. His work appeared first in 1579, printed by John Day. 
George Downham or Downame (d. 1634), was...
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dunnem Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dunnem family to Ireland
Some of the Dunnem family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dunnem family
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Dunnem or a variant listed above: John Dunham of Plymouth who in 1633 purchased land at Dartmouth. Later John Dunham of Barnstable settled in 1655. By 1850 the Dunham name had reached as far west as San Francisco..
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- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print