Dustan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Dustan surname lived near a stony hill. Dustan 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." [1]

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 Dustan family

The surname Dustan was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat from very ancient times. The earliest reference of the name was of Saint 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 the son of Heorstan, a West-Saxon noble, whose estate lay near Glastonbury. [2]

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 earliest mention of Tehidy [Cornwall] occurs so early as the year 1100; at which time Alan de Dunstanville, who was then lord of the manor, and with whose female descendant William Basset married, granted a lease of Min winnion, now situated in the park, to Paul Guyer. This grant is said to have been renewed to Richard the son of Paul Guyer, about the year 1140 by William Basset, whose marriage with Cecilia, the heiress of Alan de Dunstanville, must have taken place some time between the dates of these two grants." [3]

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." [4]

John Danstin, Dastyn or Daustin (fl. 1320), was an early English alchemist who "occupied, the foremost place among the alchemists of his time, and was the only master of his art in England. Originally a monk, he gave himself up to philosophical inquiries, and was reduced to the utmost poverty. The only record which remains to fix the period when Dastin lived is a letter which he addressed to Pope John XXII." [2]

Interestingly, Colonel George Durston was a collective pseudonym used by the Saalfield Publishing Company as the author of various American series books in the early 20th century.

Early History of the Dustan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dustan research. Another 142 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1202 and 1291 are included under the topic Early Dustan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dustan Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Dustan are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Dustan include: Dunstan, Dunston, Dunstone, Dunstane, Donston, Dunstavill, Dunstanville and many more.

Early Notables of the Dustan family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Dustan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Canada Dustan migration to Canada +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Dustan or a variant listed above:

Dustan Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John Dutcher U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [5]

West Indies Dustan migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [6]
Dustan Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • John Dustan, aged 26, who landed in St Christopher in 1633 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Dustan (post 1700) +

  • Guillaume Dustan (1965-2005), born William Baranès, a French writer and journalist
  • Dustan Costine, American actor, known for his work on The Campaign (2012), Meeting Evil (2012) and G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  7. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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