Dunne Family History
The family history of the ancient name Dunne
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The Irish names Dunne and Dunn are an anglicized form of the Gaelic O'Duinn sept name that was originally anglicized as O'Doyne. Meaning 'brown complexioned one', this sept originated in County Leix and formed one of the principal families of Leinster, their Chiefs being Lords of Iregan.
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. It is also the case that many Irish septs or clans that are related often belong to a larger groups, sometimes called tribes. For example the 'Tribes of Galway' consisted of fourteen distinct families. The 'Tribes of Kilkenny' were ten families, etc.
The sept gets special mention in the sixteenth century as being hostile and dangerous to the English cause. It is in County Leix that the Dunnes are still to be found in their greatest numbers. The usual spelling is Dunne with many who spell their name as Dunn hailing from Ulster Province. A famous bearer of the name was Gillananaomh O'Duinn (1102-1160) who was a great historian and poet. James O'Dunne (1700-1758) was an active Jacobite and became Bishop of Ossory. The Dunne
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Dunne