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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Durham family come from? What is the English Durham family crest and coat of arms? When did the Durham family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Durham family history?

The Durham surname is a habitational name, originally taken on from the city of Durham, in northeastern England. This place name comes from the Old English "dun," meaning "hil."


Spelling variations of this family name include: Durham, Durehame, Durrame, Dirom and others.

First found in Dumfriesshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


Durham Early History

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Durham research. Another 184 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1246 and 1296 are included under the topic Early Durham History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Durham Early Notables

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


Durham In Ireland

Some of the Durham family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 186 words(13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Durham Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Elizabeth Durham who settled in Virginia in 1653
  • Elizabeth Durham, who arrived in Virginia in 1653
  • Jno Durham, who arrived in Virginia in 1658
  • Mary Durham, who arrived in Maryland in 1658
  • Humphrey Durham, who landed in Maine in 1676

Durham Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Daniel Durham, who arrived in Virginia in 1711
  • Daniell Durham, who landed in Virginia in 1711
  • George Durham, who settled in Virginia in 1721
  • Robert Durham, who settled in Maryland in 1729 with his wife Elizabeth
  • Ann Durham, who landed in America in 1764

Durham Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Samuel Durham, who arrived in New York in 1801
  • Samuel, Durham Jr., who landed in America in 1801-1802
  • James Durham, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Margaret Durham, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • Mr. Durham, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851

Durham Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. John Durney U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784

Durham Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • William Durham, who arrived in St John, New Brunswick in 1907

Durham Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • R.G. Durham arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Posthumous" in 1849

Durham Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Mary Durham, aged 54, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841


  • Ray "The Sugarman" Durham (b. 1971), American former Major League Baseball second baseman for the San Francisco Giants
  • Dr. Bartlett Leonidas Snipes Durham (1824-1859), American physician and namesake of Durham, North Carolina
  • David Anthony Durham (b. 1969), American historical fiction and fantasy author, recipient of the 2009 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
  • Jim Durham (b. 1947), American sportscaster
  • Leon "Bull" Durham (b. 1957), American former Major League Baseball first baseman and outfielder
  • Admiral Sir Philip Charles Calderwood Henderson Durham GCB (1763-1845), Scottish-born, British Royal Navy officer who served in the American War of Independence, French Revolutionary War and Napoleonic Wars
  • Rhea Durham (b. 1978), American fashion model who has appeared on the cover of major fashion magazines including French Vogue, Italian Marie Claire, and American ELLE
  • Walter Thomas Durham (1925-2013), American historian and author, Tennessee State Historian
  • John George Lambton Durham (1792-1840), English statesman
  • Judith Durham OAM (b. 1943), born Judith Mavis Cockis, Australian jazz singer and musician, lead vocalist for the Australian folk music group The Seekers



The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Ultra fert animus
Motto Translation: The mind bears onwards



  1. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  2. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  3. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  6. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  8. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  9. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  10. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  11. ...

The Durham Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Durham 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 18 February 2015 at 15:24.

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