Last name: Dennis

This famous surname recorded in almost every European country since the late Middle Ages, and in such forms as Dennis, Dionis, and Denes, with patronymics Addionisio, Denisov, and Dzeniskevich, is of pre Christian, Ancient Greek origins. It derives from "Dionysios" meaning "the divine one of Nysa", a reference to an early god, who was believed to be the protector of the vine. It is also said that Nysa was a mountain in the modern Afghanistan, where celebrations were held by the Greek army of Alexander, The Great. Whilst St Denis, the bishop of Paris, France, was an early Christian martyr of the 3rd century a.d., it must be said that like most surnames of Christian origins, the "modern" surname owes its popularity to the famous "crusades" of the 12th century, when successive European kings launched expeditions to free the Holy Land from the Saracens. All were unsuccessful, but returning warriors and pilgrims commemorated their exploits by naming their children after ancient or biblical heroes, some of whom only had the very faintest of associations with Christianity. The first country in the world to adopt both hereditary surnames and proper register recordings was England, and it is there that we find the earliest examples of this surname. The first recording of the family name anywhere in the world and in any spelling is believed to be that of Walter Denys, a witness in the year 1272, at the Assize Court of the county of Staffordshire. This was during the reign of King Henry 111 of England, 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" in their spellings, often leading to astonishing variants of the original.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017

Surname Scroll

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift. View Details.

Are u all white?

mike dennis
ive seen a lot of black Dennis's, and white ones. You can make any reference from that you wish, either slavery, or marriage. In one book I read. It said the dennis name came from the French Le danius meaning the dane. Guess its up for grabs what to believe.

Matt Dennis

I'm a Dennis from Australia.... no idea how we got here... I don't know any of our history past my grandfather.... can't even find my grandfather in the births, deaths and marriages registry over here... It' frustrating... lol

Marilyn Dennis
I am Marilyn Dennis born in Abilene Texas

paul dennis
Im African American also

paul dennis from Detroit
I'm African American also

curtis dennis
where does my name come from?

Curtis Dennis
I was born in Glendale Arizona

Verna Dennis
Born in Carson City, Michigan

Bill Dennis
The surname Dennis is something like the 14th-20 something most common surname in the US. It has origins that trace to France, England, Ireland and lowland Scotland. I know little of the French line, however the English and Scottish lines were both near the border seperatin get those 2 countries and many emigrated to Northern Ireland during the first attempts to convert that area from Catholicism to Protestant. Most Irish lines stem from this (Ulster-Scots), although some come from a royal line in Ulster County, Donnaich, I believe, which was anglicized into Dennis. Emmigrations from England to Australia occurred when Australia as a penal colony. Em migrations from England and Scotland occurred predominantly in 3 stages all coinciding with the potato famine, religious unrest in What is now Great Britain, etc. The use of Dennis as a "Black" surname is most likely due to the adoption of slave owners surnames or the use of a patriarchical figures first name as the surname for subsequent generations

Subscribe to our newsletter

View previous newsletters.

Powered by MailChimp