This very interesting surname recorded in many forms including Dunn, Dunne, Dunnet, Dune, Done, (British Isles & Brittany) Donn, Donico, Dunnico (Spanish and Portugese), and others, is regarded being Gaelic, Breton, and Olde English. It has several origins and is now recorded in its different spellings throughout Europe. Firstly, it may be from the pre 7th century word "dunn", found in all the various countries and meaning "dark-coloured", and as such a nickname for a man with dark hair or Latin or Moorish complexion. Secondly, the name may be Irish, where it is widespread. If so it is a developed form of the Gaelic O'Duinn, composed of the prefix O' meaning male descendant of, and the personal name Duinn, from "donn", meaning dark or swarthy and again a nickname. In Ireland the name is usually spelt "Dunne", and the sept originated in County Leix, where they formed one of the principal families of Leinster. Their chief was known as the lord of Iregan, and they were especially mentioned in mid 16th Century documents as being hostile and dangerous to the English interest. In Ulster those who spelt their name Dunn usually came from Scotland, where the surname may be locational from the lands of Dun, in Tayside in the former county of Angus. In this case the origination is from the word "dun", meaning a fort. The first recorded spelling of the family name in any form may be that of Gillananaomh O'Duinn. This was dated 1102, in the "Ancient Irish Records", during the reign of Irish High Kings in Opposition, 1103 - 1169.
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