|Dean Surname Genealogy|
Dean Surname YDNA
William Dean (about 1735-1825) in MD, PA and KY
The Dean Surname
In Europe and the British Isles surnames began to be used about 500 to 1000 years ago. In England, higher ranked men began to adopt surnames after the Norman Conquest (1066). Surnames were not fully settled among the common people until about the time of King Edward the Second (early 1300's). (Surname Origins Essay by William Arthur, searchforancestors.com.) This time varies greatly in different parts of the world from almost 5000 years ago in China to only about 70 years ago in Turkey. (In the name of the father: surnames and genetics by Mark A Jobling, Trends in Genetics, vol. 17 No. 6, June 2001.) In the British Isles, the origin of a particular surname usually was derived from the person’s occupation, from the person's father's given name, from the name of the place the person lived, from a personal characteristic or descriptive nick-name, or from a natural or man-made feature of the landscape. The name Den or Dene first appears in England soon after the introduction of surnames. It was apparently derived from the Saxon word for valley – den or dene. After the “great vowel shift” in the language of Elizabethan England, the name was spelled Dean or Deane. This word can still be found in the names of some valleys in England.
Today this surname takes several spellings – Dean, Deane, Deans, Deen and others. There is some evidence that the German surnames Dein and Dehn were anglicized to Dean in America.
Canadian censuses of 1871, 1881 and 1901 record the national origin of each person. Persons surnamed Dean or its variations usually indicated that they were of English, Irish or Scottish national origin, although there are a few instances in which German national origin was indicated.
Based on the 1990 United States census, Dean was the 236th most frequent surname and accounted for 0.045 per cent of the U.S. population in that census. (http://www.census.gov/genealogy/names/dist.all.last)
contact me, Larry Dean: ladean23 AT gmail DOT com
last revised 20 October 2010
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