Dunstarr History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The present generation of the Dunstarr family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having 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 Dunstarr family

The surname Dunstarr 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 in 1084.

Early History of the Dunstarr family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunstarr research. Another 57 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1609, 1659, 1640, 1618, 1684, 1660, 1679, 1675, 1754, 1675, 1687 and 1678 are included under the topic Early Dunstarr History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dunstarr Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Dunstarr include Dunster, Dunstar, Dunstarr, Dunsterr and others.

Early Notables of the Dunstarr family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Henry Dunster (1609-1659), born in Lancashire, England, he emigrated to America in 1640 and became the first president of Harvard University. He was the son of Henry Dunster of Balehoult, Bury, Lancashire. [1] Another Henry Dunster (1618-1684), was an English merchant...
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dunstarr Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


West Indies Dunstarr migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [2]
Dunstarr Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Robert Dunstarr who settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Robert Dunstarr, who landed in Barbados in 1635 [3]
  • Robert Dunstarr, aged 34, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [3]


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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