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Dornan Family HistoryThis unusual English name recorded as Dorn, Dornan, Dornin, Dorning, Dornon, Dornell and possibly others, is probably residential and either locational or topographical. It so it derives from the pre 7th century word "torn". translating as thorn and locationally is found in various village names such as Thorne in Somerset or Thorns in Suffolk. The translation is literally a hedge of thorn bushes, but the actual meaning was a defensive hedge planted around the village both to keep the cattle and sheep in at night, and the local bandits and vagabonds out! Later when surnames began to be used in the late Medieval period from about the 14th century locational names were often given to those who had left their original home village, to live or work in another town or village.
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