Dana (surname)

Dana (pronounced either /ˈdeɪnə/ or /ˈdænə/) as a surname may have several origins. In England, it came from dann, the valley of a meadow, and it may mean the dweller of that valley. In Continental Europe, it probably came from Dane (or Danish, from Denmark). This surname is related to Danese in Italy and it can be found mostly in the Piedmont region. It may also be a modification of Huguenot French origin, probably a variant of d'Aunay, of geographical origin. It may be also a Gaelic patronymic, since it is a common forename in Ireland. Dana is a relatively common surname in the USA, ranking 7161 out of 88,799 in the 1990 U.S. Census. Dana is also the Persian word for wisdom.

At least into the first half of the 19th century, all American Danas were descended or of close relatives to Richard Henry Dana (including William G. Dana), who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts around 1640.

People with the surname Dana

  • Audrey Dana, French actress
  • Bill Dana, American comedian, writer, producer and composer, well-known for his character "José Jiménez" in the Steve Allen Show
  • Charles Anderson Dana, American writer, journalist and government official
  • Daniel Dana, American educator, was the president of Dartmouth College
  • Edmund Trowbridge Dana (1818-1869), United States jurist
  • Edward Salisbury Dana, American mineralogist and physicist
  • Francis Dana, American lawyer
  • Henry Dana, founder of the Native Police force in Victoria, Australia in the nineteenth century
  • James Dana (1735-1812), a United States clergyman (see Wikisource-logo.svg "Dana, James". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1900. )
  • James Dwight Dana, American zoologist and geologist
  • James Freeman Dana (1793-1827), a United States chemist
  • John Cotton Dana, influential American librarian and museum director
  • John W. Dana (1808-1867), Governor of Maine
  • Joseph Dana (1742-1827), United States clergyman (see Wikisource-logo.svg "Dana, Joseph". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1900. )
  • Judah Dana (1772-1845), Maine statesman and United States Senator
  • Mazen Dana, Reuters cameraman who was shot dead by US soldiers
  • Napoleon J.T. Dana (1822-1905), a career U.S. Army officer
  • Paul Dana, former American race car driver in the Indy Racing League, who died in a crash in March 2006
  • Richard Dana (lawyer) (1699-1772), United States lawyer
  • Richard Henry Dana, Sr., American poet and author, father of Richard Henry Dana Jr. and grandfather of Richard Henry Dana III
  • Richard Henry Dana, Jr., American lawyer and politician, most famous for his classic book Two Years Before the Mast
  • Samuel Dana (1767-1835), a Massachusetts politician
  • Samuel Luther Dana (1795-1868), a Massachusetts textile and agriculture chemist
  • Samuel W. Dana, American lawyer and politician
  • Stephen Winchester Dana (b. 1840), United States clergyman (see Wikisource-logo.svg "Dana, Stephen Winchester". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1900. )
  • Sophia Dana, nineteenth-century feminist, a Transcendentalist and later a Catholic
  • Vic Dana, American dancer and singer
  • Viola Dana (also known as Viola Flugrath, born Virginia Flugrath), silent movie actress
  • Walter Dana Polish-American musician
  • William H. Dana ("Bill" Dana), test pilot and retired American astronaut
  • William Parsons Dana (b. 1833), United States artist (see Wikisource-logo.svg "Dana, Stephen Winchester". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1900. )
  • Mrs. William Starr Dana (Frances Theodora Parsons), American botanist and author

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