Dyer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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." [1] In ancient Latin documents, the trade and surname was listed as "tinctor" and has a French equivalent of Teinturier.

Early Origins of the Dyer family

The surname Dyer was first found in Oxfordshire where one the first records of the family was John le Deyere who was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. There was quite a few early records of the family in Somerset. Kirby's Quest of Somerset listed: John Dyar; Richard le Dyghar; John le Dyghar, as all having lived there temp. 1 Edward III. Richard le Dyer, of Kiderminster was rector of Fincham, Norfolk in 1333. [2] [3]

In Scotland early records used the Latin form "tinctor." Henry tinctor was listed in Dumfriesshire, c. 1259 and Roger tinctor held land in Aberdeen in 1332. John Dyer called 'talp,' was admitted burgess of the same town in 1436. [4]

Early History of the Dyer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dyer research. Another 148 words (11 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Dyer Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Dyer family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Edward Dyer (1543-1607) English poet in the court of Elizabethan I, he was knighted and made chancellor of the Order of the Garter in 1596; William Dyre (died 1685), Englishman who served as the 13th Mayor of New York City (1680 to 1682); John Dyer (1699-1757), a Welsh poet; and Mary Barrett Dyer (c.1611-1660), an English Puritan turned Quaker who was hanged in Boston, Massachusetts for repeatedly defying a law banning Quakers from...
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dyer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dyer World Ranking

In the United States, the name Dyer is the 560th most popular surname with an estimated 52,227 people with that name. [5] However, in Australia, the name Dyer is ranked the 529th most popular surname with an estimated 7,315 people with that name. [6] And in New Zealand, the name Dyer is the 406th popular surname with an estimated 1,620 people with that name. [7] The United Kingdom ranks Dyer as 408th with 15,940 people. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Dyer family to Ireland

Some of the Dyer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Dyer migration to the United States +

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 [9]
  • Jo Dyer, aged 28, who arrived in America in 1634 [9]
  • Ananiah Dyer, aged 24, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dyer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliz Dyer, who landed in Virginia in 1704 [9]
  • Jeffery Dyer, who landed in Virginia in 1706 [9]
  • Cornelius Dyer, who arrived in Virginia in 1713 [9]
  • Eliz Catherina Dyer, aged 32, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738 [9]
  • Maria Dyer, aged 52, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1738 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dyer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Dyer, aged 31, who arrived in New York in 1812 [9]
  • Samuel Dyer, aged 20, who landed in New York in 1812 [9]
  • John B Dyer, who landed in Mississippi in 1848 [9]
  • Patrick Dyer, aged 20, who landed in New York in 1849 [9]
  • Patrick Dyer, who arrived in New York in 1849
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dyer Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Richard J. Dyer, (b. 1851), aged 49, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 4th February 1900 en route to Hancock, Michigan, USA [10]
  • Mr. Nicholas Dyer, (b. 1875), aged 26, Cornish miller travelling aboard the ship "Germanic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 27th March 1901 en route to New York, USA [10]
  • Miss Annie Dyer, (b. 1883), aged 20, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 22nd August 1903 en route to Osceola, Michigan, USA [10]
  • Mr. Richard Dyer, (b. 1882), aged 22, Cornish miller travelling aboard the ship "Teutonic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 22nd September 1904 en route to Baltic, Michigan, USA [10]
  • Miss Ada Dyer, (b. 1881), aged 23, Cornish tailoress travelling aboard the ship "Teutonic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 22nd September 1904 en route to Hancock, Michigan, USA [10]

Canada Dyer migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Dyer Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Dyer, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Thomas Dyer, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Martha Dyer, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Mr. William Dyer U.E., "Dyre" who settled in Canada c. 1784 [11]
  • Mr. Abraham Dykeman U.E. born in Connecticut, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dyer Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mary Dyer, aged 24, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Legatus" from London, England
  • Mr. John Dyer, aged 40 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Scotland" departing from the port of Cork, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 [12]
  • Alida Dyer, who arrived in Quebec in 1870 as one of the "Home Children" from Britain

Australia Dyer migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Dyer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Matilda Dyer, (b. 1776), aged 34, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life for assault, transported aboard the "Canada" in March 1810, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • John Dyer, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • Mr. Henry Dyer(b. 1771), aged 54, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 21st March 1825, sentenced for 7 years for stealing iron and rope from Josiah Randall, transported aboard the ship "Sesostris" on 23rd November 1825 to New South Wales, Australia [15]
  • Thomas Dyer, English convict from Somerset, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on October 16, 1826, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [16]
  • Mr. Richard Dyer, (b. 1816), aged 22, English groom who was convicted in Somerset, England for 15 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 25th June 1838, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [17]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Dyer migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Dyer Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Dyer, Australian settler travelling from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia aboard the ship "Brazil Packet" arriving in New Zealand in 1837 [18]
  • Mr. Joseph Dyer, (b. 1811), aged 28, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Oriental" arriving in Port Nicholson, Wellington, New Zealand on 31st January 1840 [19]
  • Mrs. Dyer, (b. 1814), aged 25, British settler travelling from London with a child aboard the ship "Oriental" arriving in Port Nicholson, Wellington, New Zealand on 31st January 1840 [19]
  • Sophia Elizabeth Dyer, aged 30, a dressmaker, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Stately" in 1851
  • Miss Sophia E Dyer, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Stately" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 1st June 1851 [19]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Dyer 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. [20]
Dyer Settlers in West Indies in the 19th Century
  • Edward, Roger Sarah and Thomas Dyer, who settled in Barbados in the 17th century

Contemporary Notables of the name Dyer (post 1700) +

  • 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
  • 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
  • Charles Dyer (b. 1928), English playwright, screenwriter, and actor
  • George Dyer (1755-1841), English classicist and a prolific writer, man of letters
  • Kieron Dyer (b. 1978), English professional soccer player
  • Danny Dyer (b. 1977), English actor
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Miss Ruth L.  Dyer (1911-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [21]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Frank Dyer, British Petty Officer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [22]
  • Mr. John S Dyer, British Cook, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [22]
  • Mr. George C Dyer, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [22]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Henry Dyer (1894-1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [23]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. John  Dyer, English Trimmer from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [24]
  • Mr. Robert Dyer, American 2nd Class passenger from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [25]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. William Dyer (d. 1912), aged 31, English Saloon Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [26]
  • 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 [26]
SS Southern Cross
  • Mr. Patrick Dyer (1895-1914), Newfoundlander from Logy Bay who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found


The Dyer Motto +

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.


Suggested Readings for the name Dyer +

  • 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.

  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  7. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  8. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  9. ^ 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)
  10. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  11. ^ 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
  12. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 27)
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/canada
  14. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1824
  15. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  16. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Andromeda voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1826 with 147 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/andromeda/1826
  17. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel
  18. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  19. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  20. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  21. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  22. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  23. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  24. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 10) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  25. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  26. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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