Diamond Surname Meaning, History & Origin
is a surname that has three
different origins – Irish, English, and Jewish:
Irish root the Gaelic O’Diamain, from the name Dioma, with the anglicized form
English origin the Old English word dayman, derived
from deye meaning “a keeper of livestock.”
the Jewish origin the Yiddish diment or “diamond,”
and chosen as an ornamental name.
main alternative spelling has been Dimond. Other variants
have been Diman and Diment,
Diamond Resources on
- Miner Descent
Diamonds in Kittery, Maine.
- The Diamond Family History
Diamonds in Canada.
- Dymond/Dimond/Diamond DNA Project
early example of the surname – Stephen Deyman in the 1224 pipe rolls of
Buckinghamshire – matched the old meaning of the word.
By the next century the “d” had appeared, as
in Dymond. This became in time Dimond
and then Diamond.
persisted as a
surname in the west country and particularly in Devon; while Diment
in Somerset. The family
line of James Dyment, born in Beaford in Devon in 1767, was variously
Dyment, Diment and Diamond.
Kent The Diamond
name also occurred in Kent in various places. John Dimonde was
said to have
arrived in Brenchley near Tunbridge Wells from France in the early
1600’s. The name there became Diamond.
Later in the 1600’s John Diamond was a yeoman
farmer and gunfounder in Hawkhurst, a profession also taken up by his
Robert. Jack Diamond (sometimes Dymer)
was a member of the notorious Hawkhurst smuggling gang.
He was arrested in 1747 but escaped execution.
Ireland. The O’Diamain
family originated in Derry and Antrim along the Lower Bann river
were an erenagh family which acted as
stewards for the church at Kilrea. Neal Diamond was born in
Maghera parish in
1764. A Diamond branch, stone masons who
worked on the stone at Guildhall in Derry, migrated to Ardnaglass in
Sligo in the early 19th century.
Diamonds left for America during the 19th century.
Patrick Diamond, for instance, came to Pennsylvania in the
1760’s and subsequently migrated to North Carolina.
Both his sons fought in the Revolutionary War.
America. John Diamond was a ropemaker from Devon
who came first to Massachusetts and then settled in Kittery, Maine in
where he built fishing boats. His son
John was tortured to death during an Indian raid in 1692.
Thomas Diamond or Diman (he himself spelt his
name Diamond) was the forebear of the
Dimonds/Dimans of Bristol, Rhode Island. He came first to
Connecticut, thence to Farmington, and thence to Easthampton on Long
where he died in 1683.
The name was spelt
variously at that time, but then two different spellings took root:
first was Dimond. Thomas Dimond and the
Rev. James Dimond both came to Bristol, Rhode Island around the
second was Diman. Joseph Diman came to
Bristol in the 1760’s and raised two master mariners, Captains Royal
was both a Dimont
and Diman Governor of Rhode Island in the 1840-50’s.
Another Dimond line began with Thomas Dimond
who died in Fairfield, Connecticut in 1658.
The spelling subsequently varied between Dimond and Dimon. David Dimon of Weston received rough treatment from the British
in 1777. Henry Dimond was a Christian
missionary from Fairfield who set off for Hawaii in 1834 where he lived
further sixty years. Edwin Ormond’s 1891
book The Dimond or Dimon Family of
Fairfield, Connecticut covered these and other lines.
Diamond is also a
Jewish name in America. Louis Diamond
arrived from Russia in 1904 and, after studying medicine at
Harvard, made his name in pediatrics. He
has been called the father of pediatric hematology.
His son Jared Diamond is a popular science
writer. Other second generation Diamonds
in America have been the composer David Diamond and the
John Diamond, Father and Son, in Maine. John Diamond moved from Massachusetts in Kittery, Maine
where he built shallops and fished with his sons on the Isle of Shoals. He was appointed constable of the town in
1659 and town clerk in 1662. He died in
His eldest son had come with his father from Massachusetts and Maine
he carried on his father’s work. He met
his end, however, during an attack by French and Native forces against
English outpost at Wells, John Diamond was captured at the outset of
trying to escape the boats for the fort and was tortured to death.
scalped, and maimed him; slit his hands and feet between the fingers
cut deep gashes in the fleshy parts of his body, and then stuck the
of lighted torches, leaving him to die by piecemeal in the agonies of
He met his end even though the other defenders managed
to resist the attack and survive.
The Dimonds/Dimans of Bristol, Rhode Island. According to
tradition this family was of French Huguenot origin.
The name was spelled Diamond or Diament
during their sojourn in Connecticut and Long Island until the early
1700’s. It was then changed by some
of the Bristol
family in the seventh generation from the settler to Dimond. It was also written as Diman by one branch of
number of the name represented the town in the General Assembly of
the state, among them being:
P. Dimond (1790-1857)
who served as Governor in 1846-47
M. Dimond (1796-1859) who served as
Governor in 1853-54
Henry Wight Diman (1835-1884), who also served as the US
consul in Portugal.
were all born in
Bristol. Byron Diman was the son of
Captain Jeremiah Diman, Francis Dimond the son of Thomas Dimond.
William Diamond’s Drum. William Diamond was the drummer of Captain John Parker’s
Company who sounded the alarm summoning the members of the Lexington
the Common on April 19, 1775. At the
time William was working as an apprentice wheelwright to Thomas
Lexington. His drum roll was the call to arms for the farmers and
villagers in Massachusetts that was said to have begun the American
Diamond, born in Boston in 1758, later became a foot soldier and served
duration of the war. He was present at the British surrender at
died in 1828 and was buried in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
David Dimon’s Misfortunes with the British. David Dimon lived in Weston. Upon hearing of the
landing of the British
forces at Cedar Point in April 1777, he took his gun, mounted his
started out to oppose the invaders. On his way he met a company
asked him where he was going. Thinking
they were friends, he replied that he was going to shoot the
he was immediately seized by them and tied on a horse and his gun was
over a rock. He was taken to New York and imprisoned in an old
where, it was thought, he died of smallpox.
home was plundered by the
British soldiers who took a high silk hat, a blue broadcloth coat and a
silver knee buckles, for which his wife afterward received payment from
Louis Diamond, the Father of Pediatric Hematology. Louis K. Diamond was born in Bessarabia, at the time part of
the Russian empire. At the age of two he
emigrated with his family in 1904 to the United States.
He began medical studies at Harvard in 1919
and emerged with an MD from Harvard Medical School eight years later. After that he spent several years studying
pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital.
He then set up one of the first pediatric
hematology research centers in the United States at this hospital,
anemias. By 1930 he had succeeded in
identifying thalassemia, a hereditary anemia that affected children of
and Greek ancestry. Two years later he
identified the Hemolytic disease of the newborn, at that time a
disorder among newborns. He also
discovered various other disorders and diseases affecting children.
He died at his home in Los Angeles in 1999 at
the age of 97. His
son Jared Diamond is a popular science writer.
- Legs Diamond was an Irish American gangster in Philadelphia and
New York City during the Prohibition era.
- Neil Diamond is an American
singer-songwriter of Jewish background with a career that began in the 1960’s.
- Anne Diamond is an English radio and television presenter and journalist of Irish background.
Select Diamond Numbers Today
- 6,000 in the UK (most numerous
in Northern Ireland)
- 9,000 in America (most numerous in New York)
- 8,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)
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