The Dunsterr name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture. 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 Dunsterr family
The surname Dunsterr 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 Dunsterr family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunsterr 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 Dunsterr History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dunsterr Spelling Variations
Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Dunsterr has undergone many spelling variations
, including Dunster, Dunstar, Dunstarr, Dunsterr and others.
Early Notables of the Dunsterr family (pre 1700)
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dunsterr Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dunsterr family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the unstable social climate in England
of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Dunsterr were among those contributors: Robert Dunstarr who settled in Barbados in 1635; Catherine Dunstar settled in Annapolis Maryland in 1726; Henry Dunster settled in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1648.