A Brief History of the Damerons/Damrons
by Leonard L. Damron
Dameron/Damron Family Newsletter, Volume 1, Fall, 1981
The Dameron name has been an honorable one, tracing its origin past the 14th century. Furgeson, an authority on surnames, places the derivation on the Dameron to a compound of two old German words, dam (judgement), and run (wisdom). The origins of the coat of arms was Flanders, which is now known as Belgium, and the original spelling of the name was Damerin, as was the French spelling of the name, various other spellings of the name exist, including Damrell, Damrun, Damerson, Damison, Dammron, etc. It is not uncommon to find the name spelled several ways on the same document, because court clerks and census takers often spelled the name as it sounded to them. Damron is probably the most common variation of the name today, but we must bear in mind that no matter the variation, those of us in America can in all probability be traced to a common Dameron ancestor.
The coat of arms consists of a yellow shield, fixed on this is a black chevron and three red circles, two above the chevron and one below. This coat of arms is registered in the Armorial Registries of France and England as well as the Library of Congress. Described in heraldic terms, it reads as follows:
(Reitstap, Armorial General, 1887): Argent, a chevron sable accompanied by three torteaux gules.
In France it is registered as Damerin. Flandre.
D’arg, au chev. De sa., acc., de trios tourt. De gu.
The date of the first Damerons in this country is at least 1614 and was probably a few years prior to that. At that time there were less than one thousand Europeans on these shores. Damerons can claim a relationship to some of the most illustrious in our country’s history, including George Washington, they also entered Kentucky with Daniel Boone, and were with him upon his entry to Tennessee. Some were with Boone when he was in Missouri. He performed a marriage for one of my ancestors while he was a magistrate there.
A number of Dameron descendants have engaged in the study of the Dameron/Damron genealogy, the most notable being Helen Foster Snow, who compiled several hundred pages on not only the Dameron/Damrons, in this country, but in England as well. (Helen died in the United States on January 11, 1997, at the age of 89.) Helen’s works were not completely indexed, and are difficult to use a ready reference, but without them I would be back near square one.
Most of the Dameron/Damrons in this country are descended from either Bartholomew or George Dameron, sons of Lawrence Dameron. Although they settled first in Virginia, they soon enlarged their area to include West Virginia and North Carolina, spreading rapidly into Kentucky and Tennessee and from there to Illinois, Ohio Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, and California, but they are found in every state, including Hawaii and Alaska.
The Civil War found Dameron/Damrons on both sides, several even switching sides. Many of the Damron west of Virginia supported northern views, with dire consequences to some. Several North Carolina Damerons died in this war and confederate Damerons in Missouri died in Union prisons.