What is the origin of the last name Dorsey?

The last name Dorsey traces its origins back to medieval England, likely deriving from the Old French personal name "D'Arcy." The name "D'Arcy" itself derives from the Latin name "Starcus," meaning "skilled archer" or "bowman." Over time, the spelling evolved and became anglicized as "Dorsey." This surname is prominent among Irish and Scottish communities, often spelling variations like "Dorcey" or "D'Orsey" are also observed.

Countries of origin for the last name Dorsey

The last name Dorsey has an interesting history and meaning. It is primarily of English origin and is derived from the Old French word “d’Arcy” or “de Arcy,” which means “from Arcy.” Arcy is a commune in France, located in the Aube department in the northeastern part of the country. The surname Dorsey, therefore, indicates that the original bearers of the name were from or associated with Arcy in France.

The Dorsey surname has several documented variations, including Darcy, D’Arcy, Darcey, and De Arcy. These different spellings emerged over time as people migrated and linguistic changes occurred. It is not uncommon for surnames to have multiple variations, especially when they have been passed down for centuries.

One notable aspect of the Dorsey surname is its prevalence in the United States. It is a relatively common surname, and many individuals with this last name can trace their ancestry back to early immigrants. The Dorsey family played a significant role in American history, particularly in Maryland, where they were one of the prominent founding families.

The surname Dorsey also has connections to Irish and Scottish ancestry. It is believed that some Dorsey families in America have Irish or Scottish roots, as the name has appeared in records associated with those regions. However, the exact origins and connections are not fully confirmed and remain a topic of ongoing genealogical research.

Like many surnames, the meaning of Dorsey has evolved over time. While it initially indicated a geographical origin from Arcy in France, the name has come to represent a familial identity and heritage for those who bear it. For individuals with the Dorsey surname, it is a reminder of their ancestors and their place in history.

Overall, the last name Dorsey carries a rich historical significance and symbolizes a connection to a specific place and lineage. Its various spellings, widespread usage in the United States, and potential Irish and Scottish roots make it a captivating subject of genealogical research. Despite the wealth of information available, there are still unanswered questions and potential undiscovered connections waiting to be explored.

Interesting facts about the last name Dorsey

  • The surname Dorsey is of Irish origin.
  • It derives from the Gaelic personal name “O’Deoradhain,” meaning “descendant of Deoradhain,” which translates to “exile” or “wanderer.”
  • The Dorsey family is believed to have originated in County Louth, Ireland.
  • During the 17th century, many members of the Dorsey clan migrated to Maryland, USA.
  • One of the most prominent individuals with the surname Dorsey was Thomas Andrew Dorsey (1899-1993), an American blues pianist and composer known as the “Father of Gospel Music.”
  • Other notable individuals with the surname Dorsey include American football player Tony Dorsey, jazz trumpeter Tommy Dorsey, and actress Ann Dorsey.
  • The Dorsey family has a rich history and has made significant contributions in various fields, including music, sports, and entertainment.
  • The surname Dorsey is relatively rare, with fewer than 10,000 individuals carrying the name in the United States.
  • There are various alternative spellings of the surname Dorsey, including Dorcey, Dossey, and D’Orazio.
  • The Dorsey Coat of Arms features a silver shield with three red lions rampant.

Name Rank


There are around 43631 people with the last name Dorsey in the US

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