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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, German, Scottish


The distinguished surname Duren 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.

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The surname Duren 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." [1] 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)]." [1]

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Durand, Durant, Durande, Durrane, Dant, Dante and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Duren research. Another 221 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1140 and 1296 are included under the topic Early Duren History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Duren Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Duren or a variant listed above:

Duren Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Fra Duren, who settled in Georgia in 1733
  • Durst Duren, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1749

Duren Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • W. H. Duren, who settled in San Francisco in 1851
  • Erasmus Hubert Duren, aged 10, arrived in Wisconsin in 1885

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  • Clarence Edward Duren (b. 1950), former professional American NFL football player
  • William Duren, American Republican politician, Mayor of Calais, Maine, 1872-75
  • Turner A. Duren, American politician, Mayor of Largo, Florida, 1914-15
  • Joanne M. Duren, American Democrat politician, Member of Wisconsin State Assembly 50th District; Elected 1974
  • B. Kwaku Duren, American politician, Representative from California, 1986, 1988, 1992
  • Cristin Duren (b. 1981), American beauty queen from Panama City, Florida who has competed in the Miss Teen USA and Miss USA pageants
  • Rinold George "Ryne" Duren (b. 1929), American former relief pitcher in Major League Baseball from Cazenovia, Wisconsin


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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  3. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  5. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  7. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  9. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Duren Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Duren Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 4 July 2013 at 14:21.

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