Dunnett History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Dunnett surname is a habitational name, taken on from Downhead in Somerset, or Donhead in Wiltshire. These place names both derived from the Old English words "dun," meaning "hill," and "he-afod," meaning the geographic "head" of land. There was also a place so named in Caithness, Scotland.

Early Origins of the Dunnett family

The surname Dunnett was first found in Wiltshire. Originally from Normandy, the name was originally spelt Dannet, for De Anet or D'Alneto. D'Alnai is mentioned at the Battle of Hastings (Wace) as 'Sire d'Alnai.' [1]

Early History of the Dunnett family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunnett research. Another 278 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1246, 1296, 1500, 1577, 1648 and 1663 are included under the topic Early Dunnett History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dunnett Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Dunnett has undergone many spelling variations, including Dunnett, Dunnet, Donnatt, Donnat, Downett, Downatt, Dunett, Dunet, Donnett and many more.

Early Notables of the Dunnett family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Dunnett Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Dunnett migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Dunnett were among those contributors:

Dunnett Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Jessie Dunnett, aged 48, who settled in America, in 1896
Dunnett Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Wm. Dunnett, aged 18, who immigrated to America from Downham, in 1906
  • Thomas Baird Dunnett, aged 20, who settled in America from Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1907
  • Alexander Dunnett, aged 21, who immigrated to America from Wick, Scotland, in 1907
  • David S. Dunnett, aged 30, who immigrated to the United States from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1908
  • George S. Dunnett, aged 2, who landed in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1908
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Dunnett 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:

Dunnett Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Janet Dunnett, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Maori" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand via Nelson and Wellington on 1st March 1852 [2]
  • Miss Isabella Dunnett, (b. 1837), aged 26, Scottish domestic servant from Caithness travelling from London aboard the ship "Tiptree" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 20th January 1864 [3]
  • Mr. Andrew Dunnett, British school master travelling from London aboard the ship "Ramsey" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 17th June 1870 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Dunnett (post 1700) +

  • Alan Dunnett (b. 1953), English poet
  • Miss Margaret Annie Geddes Dunnett C.V.O., British Lord-Lieutenant of Caithnes was appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order on 17th June 2017
  • Charles W. "Charlie" Dunnett (b. 1921), Canadian Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at McMaster University, 1986 Gold Medalist winner and Professor Emeritus of the Departments of Mathematics, Statistics, Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics of McMaster University
  • John Jacob "Jack" Dunnett (b. 1922), British lawyer and politician, member of the U.K. Parliament
  • Sir Ludovic James Dunnett (1914-1997), British Civil Servant, Permanent Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defense
  • Sir George Sangster Dunnett (1907-1984), Scottish businessman
  • Alastair MacTavish Dunnett (1908-1998), Scottish journalist and newspaper editor, editor of "The Scotsman" (1956-1972)


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


Houseofnames.com on Facebook
Shipping
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

Support
BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Payment
Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate