Is your Surname registered?

Our 2,766 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

We began this study in 2003, as an offshoot to our research on our own DEXTER family.

Variant names

In addition to DEXTERs originating in England, many Dutch immigrants to America anglicized their surname DYKSTRA (with variant spellings) to DEXTER. Our study (at present) is not including this group, and we are not collecting data on people once we determine their surname is Dutch in origin.

There are some other spellings of the name DEXTER --€“ including DEXSTER, DESTER, DEXTOR, DIXTOR, etc. We are unsure if these are variants or simply misspellings.

Name origin

It seems that DEXTER is an occupational name for 'dyer.' The highest concentration of the surname are in the Leicestershire/Nottinghamshire border areas, with significant clusters in other areas, including Rutland and Norfolk. Exploring the origins of these clusters and their relationship to one another is one of the purposes of our study.


See our DEXTER website, with links to an extensive database of DEXTER births, marriages, and deaths