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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Dunsmore family come from? What is the Scottish Dunsmore family crest and coat of arms? When did the Dunsmore family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Dunsmore family history?

Dunsmore was first used as a surname by descendants of the Pictish people of ancient Scotland. The ancestors of the Dunsmore family lived on the lands of Dundemore in Fife where the family has a long and distinguished history dating back to the early Middle Ages.


Repeated and inaccurate translation of Scottish names from Gaelic to English and back resulted in a wide variety of spelling variations with single names. Dunsmore has appeared Dinsmore, Dinsmuir, Dunsmore, Dansmore, Dunmuir and many more.

First found in Fife, in the territories of Dundemore, near Lindores.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunsmore research. Another 135 words(10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dunsmore History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 32 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dunsmore Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Dunsmore family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 120 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many Scottish families suffered enormous hardships and were compelled to leave their country of birth. They traveled to Ireland and Australia, but mostly to the colonies of North America, where many found the freedom and opportunity they sought. It was not without a fight, though, as many were forced to stand up and defend their freedom in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of these Scots abroad have rediscovered their heritage in the last century through the Clan societies and other organizations that have sprung up across North America. Immigration and passenger ship lists show some important early immigrants bearing the name Dunsmore:

Dunsmore Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • James Dunsmore, who landed in New England in 1651-1652
  • James Dunsmore who settled in New England in 1652

Dunsmore Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Dunsmore, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1730
  • Dunsmore of Virginia represented the colony in 1772

Dunsmore Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Alexander Dunsmore, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1838
  • William Dunsmore settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1872

Dunsmore Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • William Dunsmore arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lady Lilford" in 1839

Dunsmore Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Alex Dunsmore, aged 19, arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Christian McAusland" in 1875


  • Pat Dunsmore (b. 1959), American former professional NFL football player
  • Barrie Dunsmore, American journalist who covered foreign affairs for ABC News for 30 years
  • Mr. John Dunsmore, Scottish Chief Petty Officer Engine Room from Scotland, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Rosemary Dunsmore (b. 1953), Canadian TV, film and theatre, actress
  • Frederick Dunsmore (b. 1929), Canadian NHL ice hockey centerman


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: Spes anchora tuta
Motto Translation: Hope is a safe anchor.


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  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  3. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  6. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  7. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  8. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  9. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  10. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  11. ...

The Dunsmore Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dunsmore Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 13 November 2014 at 16:21.

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