name Dunnstarr comes from when the family resided in the parish of Dunster in the county of Somerset
. The place-name is derived from the Old English word Dunntorr,
which refers to a rocky peak.
Early Origins of the Dunnstarr family
The surname Dunnstarr was first found in Somerset
at Dunster, home of Dunster Castle, a former motte and bailey castle, now a country house owned by the National Trust, which operates it as a tourist attraction. The location has been fortified since the late Anglo-Saxon
period and the by the 11th century, William de Mohun had constructed a timber castle on the site. After the siege of Dunster Castle at the end of the English Civil War, much of the castle was destroyed but was later remodeled to fit Victorian tastes. One of the first records of the name was William de Mohun of Dunster (c.1090-c.1155) who was a favourite of Empress Matilda, daughter of King Henry I, and a loyal supporter of her in the war against King Stephen. He earned the epithet the "Scourge of the West"and after the war, Empress Matilda granted him the title Earl of Somerset
, in 1141. His father, William was Sheriff of Somerset
Early History of the Dunnstarr family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunnstarr research.Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1609, 1659, 1640, 1618, 1684, 1660 and 1679 are included under the topic Early Dunnstarr History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dunnstarr 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. Dunnstarr has been recorded under many different variations, including Dunster, Dunstar, Dunstarr, Dunsterr and others.
Early Notables of the Dunnstarr family (pre 1700)
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dunnstarr Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dunnstarr family to the New World and Oceana
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 Dunnstarr or a variant listed above: Robert Dunstarr who settled in Barbados in 1635; Catherine Dunstar settled in Annapolis Maryland in 1726; Henry Dunster settled in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1648.