The name Dunnsterr is of Anglo-Saxon
origin and came from when the family lived 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 Dunnsterr family
The surname Dunnsterr 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 Dunnsterr family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunnsterr 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 Dunnsterr History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dunnsterr Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred
years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon
surnames like Dunnsterr are characterized by many spelling variations
. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Dunnsterr include: Dunster, Dunstar, Dunstarr, Dunsterr and others.
Early Notables of the Dunnsterr family (pre 1700)
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dunnsterr Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dunnsterr family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Dunnsterr 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.