The roots of the Anglo-Saxon
name Dunstent come from when the family resided near a stony hill. Dunstent is derived from two Old English elements: dun
and stan. Dun
was a word for hill, and stan
meant "stony." The translation of the name is therefore "stony hill." It is also possible that the name is patronymic; that is, derived from the name of a parent. Dunstan was a popular given name in England
in the Middle Ages.
Early Origins of the Dunstent family
The surname Dunstent was first found in Cornwall
where they held a family seat
from very ancient times. The earliest reference of the name was of Dunstan (c.909 - 988,) who was an Abbot of Glastonbury, a Bishop of Worcester, a Bishop of London, and an Archbishop of Canterbury. He was later canonized as a saint. Durston is a village and civil parish in Somerset
that dates back to the Domesday Books where it lists Roger Arundel as originally holding the land but later passed to William de Arlegh who founded the priory of Buckland Sororum (also known as Buckland Priory) in about 1167. The market-town and parish of Shiffnall in Shropshire
was home to another branch of the family. "This place, formerly called Idsall, appears to have been of greater note than it is at present. It belonged to Earl Morcar prior to the Conquest, and at a period considerably later was the property of the family of Dunstanville, one of whom, Walter de Dunstanville, by the special command of Henry III., resided in the Marches, to protect them against the ravaging incursions of the Welsh
. The estate afterwards came into the possession of the Badlesmeres, who obtained from Edward I
. a market for two days in the week, and two yearly fairs." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Dunstent family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunstent research.Another 283 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1202 and 1291 are included under the topic Early Dunstent History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dunstent 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. Dunstent has been recorded under many different variations, including Dunstan, Dunston, Dunstone, Dunstane, Donston, Dunstavill and many more.
Early Notables of the Dunstent family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Dunstent Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dunstent 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 Dunstent or a variant listed above: Andrew Dunston who settled in Virginia with his wife Cicely in 1653; William Dunston settled in Virginia in 1654; Anne Dunstan settled in Maryland in 1741.