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

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

The original Gaelic form of the Irish name Durning was O Duirnin or O Dornian, possibly derived from the word "dorn," which means "fist."


The search for the origins of the name Durning family name revealed numerous spelling variations. These variants can be somewhat accounted for when it is realized that before widespread literacy people only recognized their name by pronunciation; it was up to scribes to decide how it was to be formally recorded. Variations found include Durnan, Durnane, Durneen, Durnin, Durnain, Dornan, Dornain and many more.

First found in County Antrim (Irish: Aontroim) located in the province of Ulster in present day Northern Ireland, where they had been anciently seated for many centuries and held territories in that county.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Durning research. Another 321 words(23 lines of text) covering the years 1596 and 1700 are included under the topic Early Durning History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Thousands of Irish left in their homeland in the 18th and 19th centuries to escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, and in the search of a plot of land to call their own. These immigrants arrived at the eastern shores of North America, early on settling and breaking the land, and, later, building the bridges, canals, and railroads essential to the emerging nations of United States and Canada. Many others would toil for low wages in the dangerous factories of the day. Although there had been a steady migration of Irish to North America over these years, the greatest influx of Irish immigrants came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Durning or a variant listed above:

Durning Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Charles Durning arrived in Philadelphia in 1858

Durning Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Rosey Durning, aged 24, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Edward Reid" in 1833
  • Mary Durning arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Daniel O'Connell" in 1834
  • Hugh Durning arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Daniel O'Connell" in 1834
  • Catharine Durning arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Daniel O'Connell" in 1834


  • Charles Durning (b. 1923), American soldier in World War II, during which he was awarded a Silver Star and three Purple Heart medals. He went on to become an Academy Award winning actor of stage and screen


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  1. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  2. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  11. ...

The Durning Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Durning 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 5 February 2013 at 10:50.

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