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About the study
It all began in the 1980's when a mourning card with my family name, dated 1915, was discovered. With a perusal of the local library records I found it to be my great great grandfather. This first record awakened my curiosity to look further and trace my family heritage. During my studies I have discovered not only my own personal family ancestry but data of the Dannatt name in general. This (recorded) knowledge has spurred me on to try and discover more and more about the origins of this small group which led me to join the Guild of One Name Studies in 2011.
There were over a dozen different spellings of the Dannatt name in the IGI and in fact, there are more entries of the name Dannett than Dannatt. All this changed when civil registration was introduced in 1837. Since then there have been around 1,600 registered births with only 98 spelt differently to Dannatt, yet the variations of spellings continued in all the census'.
The origin of the name seems to vary depending in which publication is read. It is my priority to find out this information in England before extending to other parts of the world.
Historical occurrences of the name
- William Dannet married Juliana c1380, illegitimate daughter of Sir Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster and grandson of Henry III
- Gerard Dannet Privy Councillor to Henry VIII
- Elsie Dannatt in 1918,said to be the first 'Wren'
- General Sir Frances Richard Dannatt, CGB, CBE, MC, head of the British Army 2006 - 2008
The 1841 census records only 223 Dannatts and variants and by 1911 this had risen to 409. The Office of National statistics recorded a count of 616 as of September 2002 being the 9,650th most popular name.
Distribution of the name
My studies have shown that there are three different clans of Dannatts over the years in the British Isles.
- A family of landed gentry from Leicester (Danetâs Hall), first recorded c1200, several times married into wealthy families, acquired land and manors in, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire Surrey, and more. Things declined for them in the 18th century and by 1750 their lands were sold or passed on through female marriages. Full details from my website http://www.dannatt.eu/
- A family from Lancashire and Cheshire. There is strong evidence that this family have descended from the ancient land owning family of Leicester and Shropshire.
- A family from Lincolnshire which the majority of Dannatts of today descend from.
I have recorded all the Birth, Deaths and Marriages from 1837 to 2000 and have all the records from the 1991 edition of the International Genealogical Index compiled in county order. These records provide me with a large amount of statistics. I have also researched the ancient Dannet family and is recorded in great detail and has also been deposited with the Society of Genealogist.