Select Diamond Surname Genealogy

Diamond is a surname that has three different origins – Irish, English, and Jewish:
  • the Irish root the Gaelic O’Diamain, from the name Dioma, with the anglicized form being Diamond.  
  • the English origin the Old English word dayman, derived from deye meaning “a keeper of livestock.“  
  • and the Jewish origin the Yiddish diment or “diamond,” and chosen as an ornamental name. 
The main alternative spelling has been Dimond.  Other variants have been Diman and Diment,

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England.  An 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. 

Devon  Dimond persisted as a surname in the west country and particularly in Devon; while Diment cropped up in Somerset.
  The family line of James Dyment, born in Beaford in Devon in 1767, was variously spelt 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 son Robert.  Jack Diamond (sometimes Dymer) was a member of the notorious Hawkhurst smuggling gang.  He was arrested in 1747 but escaped execution

.  The O’Diamain family originated in Derry and Antrim along the Lower Bann river where they 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 county Sligo in the early 19th century. 

Many 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.

  John Diamond was a ropemaker from Devon who came first to Massachusetts and then settled in Kittery, Maine in 1651 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 Westerfield, Connecticut, thence to Farmington, and thence to Easthampton on Long Island where he died in 1683. 

The name was spelt variously at that time, but then two different spellings took root: 
  • the first was Dimond.  Thomas Dimond and the Rev. James Dimond both came to Bristol, Rhode Island around the year 1712.  
  • the second was Diman.  Joseph Diman came to Bristol in the 1760’s and raised two master mariners, Captains Royal and Jeremiah Diman.  
There 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 for a 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 singer/songwriter Neil Diamond.

Select Diamond Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Diamond Names

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 Diamonds 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)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 1,000 surnames.

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