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About the study

This one name study of the surname DISNEY includes many variations that have appeared in census returns and other sources. Whilst it covers the UK I do hold information on any Disney family from anywhere in the world and welcome additions.

Variant names

Main alternative spellings appear to be Disnall, Diseney, Desney, Disigny,Dizney since c 1900 the name appears to be more stable.

Name origin

The name is believed to originate from followers of William the Conqueror who came from Isigney sur la Mare a fishing village close to Bayeaux in France. The ancient tombs in Norton Disney Church appear as D'Isigney. There is another known source as D'Assigney which originates in France and arrived in Devon and Somerset via the Channel Islands c 1650. DNA studies now suggest there must be other sources.

History of the name

The family that settled in Norton Disney in Lincolnshire appears in Burke's Landed Gentry but is now an extinct line. There are no known male descendants now living. Walt Disney traces his name back to Ireland c 1700 but does not link with the other large Irish Disney family descended from William Disney who died in 1667. Somerset and Devon Disneys originate from Marius D'Assigny in Huntsham. A large Disney family originating from Samuel Disney who died in 1724 at Radcliffe-on-Trent spreads through Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.


I hold all entries for the 1841 to 1901 census returns. All IGI and GRO entries and Census entries 1841 - 1911 plus copies of PRO wills and many more parish register extracts. I also have accumulated several branches of Disney family trees in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and USA plus the Irish family trees published by Edward Disney and Hugh Disney and several different copies of the Norton Disney family pedigree.


I have a registered DNA project with with the object of trying to check if various family groups are linked or not. So far the Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire branches have been linked and the Colchester and Suffolk Disneys show a link to Maryland USA c 1700. Any male Disney is welcome to join the project.