1 English: from a Middle English personal name Dunstan, composed of Old English dunn ‘dark’, ‘brown’ + stān ‘stone’. This name was borne by a 10thcentury archbishop of Canterbury who was later canonized.2 English: habitational name from Dunstone in Devon, named from Old English Dunstānestūn ‘settlement of Dunstan’ (as in 1). The surname is still chiefly common in Devon, but there are places in other parts of the country with similar names but different etymologies (e.g. Dunstan in Northumbria, Dunston in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Staffordshire, and Derbyshire), which may possibly have contributed to the surname.3 Scottish: partly perhaps the same as 1, but there is a place named Dunstane in Roxburghshire, which may also be a source of the surname.
Dictionary of American Family Names © Patrick Hanks 2003, 2006.