Dunstall History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Dunstall is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived in Lancashire at Tunstall. The name derived from the Old English "tun-stall," which means "a farm, a farmstead." [1] Townstall, is a parish in Devonshire. [2]

Early Origins of the Dunstall family

The surname Dunstall was first found in Lancashire, at Tunstall, a parish, in the union of Lancaster, hundred of Lonsdale south of the Sands. There are however, at least nine parishes named Tunstall in Britain, but the Lancashire parish is most important. "This is the Tunestalle of the Domesday Survey. It was early held by a family of the local name, a member of which, Sir Bryan Tunstall, was killed in the battle of Flodden-Field, and is called in Sir Walter Scott's Marmion, 'the Stainless Knight.' The family occupied Thurland Castle, a place of great antiquity, restored by the present, proprietor." [3]

In 1402 Sir Thomas Tunstall founded the stone castle, when King Henry IV granted him a licence to crenellate. He also rebuilt the local church. In the Civil War, the castle was almost demolished in the siege of 1643, when being held for the King, by Sir John Girlington. [3]

Early feudal rolls provided the king of the time a method of cataloguing holdings for taxation, but today they provide a glimpse into the wide surname spellings in use at that time. Reginald de Tunstall who was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Yorkshire in 1185 is thought to be the first on record. [4] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Hugh de Tonstalle in Kent [5] and Baines' Lancashire lists Henry de Tunstal, Lancashire, 17 Edward II; and William Tunstal, Lancashire, 47 Edward III. [6] Early rolls frequently listed entries based on the year of the reign of the king at the time. By example, 17 Edward II meant in the seventeenth year of King Edward II's reign.

Early History of the Dunstall family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunstall research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1474, 1559, 1616, 1929, 1644 and 1693 are included under the topic Early Dunstall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dunstall 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 Dunstall 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 Dunstall include: Tonstall, Tunstall and others.

Early Notables of the Dunstall family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Cuthbert Tunstall (1474-1559), twice Bishop of Durham, England in the 16th century; Thomas Tunstall (executed 1616), English Roman Catholic priest, Catholic martyr, beatified in 1929. He descended from the Tunstalls of Thurland Castle, who subsequently moved to Scargill, Yorkshire. "The family remained staunch Roman Catholics, and several of...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dunstall Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Dunstall migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Dunstall Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Dunstall, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1846 [7]
  • Walter Dunstall, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1846 [7]
  • William Dunstall, aged 27, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Oregon" [8]
  • Mary Dunstall, aged 17, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Oregon" [8]

New Zealand Dunstall 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:

Dunstall Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Harold Dunstall, aged 21, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1874
  • Harry Dunstall, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British King" in 1883
  • Elsie Dunstall, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British King" in 1883
  • Robert Dunstall, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British King" in 1883
  • Walter Dunstall, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British King" in 1883

Contemporary Notables of the name Dunstall (post 1700) +

  • Julia Dunstall (b. 1985), Canadian fashion model
  • Jason Hadfield Dunstall (b. 1964), retired Australian rules football player


The Dunstall Motto +

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: Droit
Motto Translation: Right.


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ Baines Thomas & William Fairbairn, Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present History of Counties London: William MacKenzie, 1867, Digital, 4 vols
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PHEOBE/PHOEBE 1845. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846Phoebe.htm
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The barque OREGON, 521 tons - 1851 voyage to South Australia. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Oregon.htm


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