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

Origins Available: English, Irish


The name Dyer comes from a name for a deer, where in early times it was used as a term of endearment. The surname Dyer originally derived from the Old English Dyri. The name could also have been derived from the Old English word deag, which meant "dye." As a surname, Dyer was likely an occupational name for a "dyer of cloth."

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The surname Dyer was first found in Oxfordshire where they held a family seat from very early times.

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Dyer include Dyer, Dyers, Dyar, Dier, Dyars, Dieres, Dire, Dires and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dyer research. Another 295 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1273, 1260, 1333, 1382, 1543, 1607, 1596, 1685, 1680, 1682, 1699, 1757, 1611, 1660 and 1697 are included under the topic Early Dyer History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 309 words (22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dyer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Dyer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Dyer or a variant listed above:

Dyer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Mary Dyer (circa 1611-1660) was an English-born American Quaker, she was banished, arrested and eventually hanged for the crime of being a Quaker in Massachusetts
  • Abigail Dyer who settled in Nantasket, Massachusetts in 1630
  • George Dyer, who arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Jo Dyer, aged 28, arrived in America in 1634
  • Ananiah Dyer, aged 24, arrived in Virginia in 1635


Dyer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Eliz Dyer, who landed in Virginia in 1704
  • Jeffery Dyer, who landed in Virginia in 1706
  • Cornelius Dyer, who arrived in Virginia in 1713
  • Eliz Catherina Dyer, aged 32, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738
  • Maria Dyer, aged 52, landed in Pennsylvania in 1738


Dyer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Daniel Dyer, aged 31, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Samuel Dyer, aged 20, landed in New York in 1812
  • Edward, Roger Sarah and Thomas Dyer settled in Barbados in the 17th century
  • John B Dyer, who landed in Mississippi in 1848
  • Patrick Dyer, who arrived in New York in 1849


Dyer Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Martha Dyer, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Mr. John Dyer U.E. who settled in Charlotee County, New Brunswick c. 1784 he was part of the Cape Ann Association
  • Mr. William Dyer U.E., "Dyre" who settled in Canada c. 1784
  • Mr. Abraham Dykeman U.E. born in Connecticut, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784
  • Mr. Garret Dykeman U.E., "Garrett Dyckman" born in New York, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784


Dyer Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Mary Dyer, aged 24, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Legatus" from London
  • Alida Dyer, who arrived in Quebec in 1870 as one of the "Home Children" from Britain

Dyer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Dyer, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Thomas Dyer, English convict from Somerset, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on October 16, 1826, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Enos Dyer arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Eliza" in 1840
  • Frances Dyer arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Eliza" in 1840
  • Charles Dyer arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Eliza" in 1840


Dyer Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Sophia Elizabeth Dyer, aged 30, a dressmaker, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Stately" in 1851
  • J. F. Dyer arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William" in 1853
  • Susan Dyer arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of the Avon" in 1859
  • Catherine Dyer arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Avon" in 1860
  • Helen Dyer arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Portland" in 1864


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  • Wayne Walter Dyer (1940-2015), American self-help author and motivational speaker, best known for his first book Your Erroneous Zones (1976) which sold over 35 million copies
  • James Michael Mark Dyer (1930-2014), American Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem from 1982 to 1995
  • Mr. Robert Dyer, American 2nd Class passenger from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Captain Jesse Farley Dyer (1877-1955), American Medal of Honor recipient
  • Mike Dyer (b. 1966), American Major League Baseball player
  • Eliphalet Dyer (1721-1807), American jurist
  • John Hugh "Buddy" Dyer (b. 1958), Florida State Senator and mayor of Orlando
  • Mr. John  Dyer (d. 1915), English Trimmer from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mr. William Dyer (d. 1912), aged 31, English Saloon Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Henry Ryland Dyer (d. 1912), aged 24, English Senior Assistant 4th Engineer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking

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  • Dyer Family History from England to America, 1600's-1980: Virginia and Southern Dyer Families by Watson B. Dyer.
  • Hebron Dyer Descendants: Pioneer of Ohio by Franklin Leallah.
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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: Terrere nolo, timere nescio
Motto Translation: I wish not to intimidate, and know not how to fear.

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  1. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  4. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  5. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  8. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  11. ...

The Dyer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dyer 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 30 April 2016 at 01:37.

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