The ancestors of the name Dunstown date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon
tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence near a stony hill. Dunstown 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 Dunstown family
The surname Dunstown 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 Dunstown family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dunstown research.Another 283 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1202 and 1291 are included under the topic Early Dunstown History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dunstown Spelling Variations
Dunstown has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred
years, spelling variations
in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Dunstown have been found, including Dunstan, Dunston, Dunstone, Dunstane, Donston, Dunstavill and many more.
Early Notables of the Dunstown family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Dunstown Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dunstown family to the New World and Oceana
In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England
, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Dunstowns to arrive on North American shores: 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.