Durain History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The distinguished surname Durain was first brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name is patronymic in origin, signifying "the son of Durant," an Old French personal name. Looking at records from this time, we found Geoffry, Roger and Henry Durant who claimed descent from Normandy c. 1180-95 while another census in 1198, lists Aceline, Ralph, Richard, and Robert Durant.
Early Origins of the Durain family
The surname Durain was first found in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and Shropshire at Tong, a parish, in the union of Shiffnall, Shiffnall division of the hundred of Brimstree. "Tong Castle, the seat of the family of Durant, a magnificent mansion remodelled in the last century, is crowned with numerous turrets, pinnacles, and eight lofty domes, producing a striking effect: it contains many valuable pictures and cabinets." 
Another branch of the family were found at Wallingswells in the West Riding of Yorkshire. "In excavating near the house [of Sir Thomas Woolaston White], in 1829, several stone coffins were found, and amongst them that of Dame Margery Dourant, second abbess of the convent, who died in the reign of Richard I ([1189-1199)]." 
And yet another branch of the family was found in Cornwall. "The manor of Lanestock, which is partly in the parish [of St. Austell], and partly in Tywardreath, has of late years passed under the same title as Trenance Austell. This was anciently in the family of Durant, from whom it passed into that of the Arundells of Trerice in Newlyn. The manor of Thorlebear [in the parish of Launcells, Cornwall] was formerly the property of the Durants, by whose heiress it was carried in marriage to the Arundells of Trerice." 
Important Dates for the Durain family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Durain research. Another 111 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1140 and 1296 are included under the topic Early Durain History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Durain Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Durand, Durant, Durande, Durrane, Dant, Dante and many more.
Early Notables of the Durain family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Durain Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Durain family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Durain name or one of its variants: William Durand, who settled in Virginia in 1635; George Durant, who came to North Carolina in 1661; Thomas Dant, who immigrated to Maryland in 1674; Thomas Durrant, who arrived with his wife and servants in Barbados in 1680.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print