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Dunell family page

This family came to Jersey from Somerset, but the name may have older French origins.


The Dunell family's Beaumont shop in about 1900

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Origins of surname

The family which came to Jersey was from Somerset, where the name can be traced back through several generations, and there are also records, possibly earlier, in Yorkshire. We have not found anything which would explain the origin of the name, but it appears to be a corruption of Downyll, which was present in Crewkerne, Somerset in the early 17th century.

There is a suggestion that the family name was originally d'Ouville and that it arrived in England with William the Conqueror. If this is true, the family would either have come from Douville in Calvados, or one of the communes called d'Ouville, in Manche, Calvados or Seine-Maritime.

A further suggestion is that the name is a corruption of Dunhill, from the Irish Dun and Aill, meaning 'Fort of the Rock'.

Yet another suggestion is that the name does come from Dunhill, but is of English origin, meaning 'dark rock'.

Early records

The Dunells appear to have arrived in Jersey from Somerset in the 1820s, and the first baptisms on record are those of Mary Louisa, Ann Elizabeth, Thomas Westear and William John, children of Thomas and Mary Ann, in St Helier between 1827 and 1834. Thomas was a master plasterer when he came to Jersey and was later shown in census returns as a master builder. His wife is variously shown as Ann, in baptism records, and Mary or Mary Ann in census returns. There is no sign that his son had children and this family line appears to have died out in Jersey.

The Dunell family which founded a business at Beaumont, which is still in the extended family today, also came from Somerset in the 1860s. Brothers Elias, who became a farmer, and George (see tree below) both settled in Jersey and raised families.


  • Dunell
  • Downyll
  • Dunnell, apparently a different family, with its origins in Norfolk
  • Dunhill, possibly a variant

Family records


Family trees


Church records


Great War service


Family wills

These wills created by members of the Dunell family are now held by Jersey Archive. By visiting the archive site and using the names, dates and reference numbers shown here, it is possible to view a copy of each will. You will have to subscribe to the Archive's online service to do this. To find out more about this collection, which covers the period from 1663 to 1948, and how to search for your family's wills there, visit our Jersey wills page

  • Clifford Dunell, Forest View, Beaumont, St Brelade, bequeaths to Ivy Marie Dunell Forest View; to Guy Clifford Dunell Somerset House, St Aubin - 30 January 1932, D/Y/A/92
  • George Dunell, St Aubin, St Brelade bequeaths to Edmund Dunell and Clifford Dunell his shophouse and bakehouse at St Aubin - 5 January 1920, D/Y/A/80
  • Elias Dunell, 12 La Motte Street, St Helier - 26 May 1913, D/Y/A/72
  • Thomas Dunell, St Saviour - 30 April 1920, D/Y/A/80
  • Edmund Dunell, Bel Royal, St Lawrence - 5 November 1943, D/Y/A/111

Family businesses

Family gravestones

Click on any image to see a larger version. See the Jerripedia gravestone image collection page for more information about our gravestone photographs

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