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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the German Doss family come from? What is the German Doss family crest and coat of arms? When did the Doss family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Doss family history?

The name Doss, which is a local surname, reveals that the original bearer of the name once lived, held land, or was born in Schleswig-Holstein, which is the northernmost state in western Germany. This is the homeland of the proud surname Doss. By and large, hereditary surname were formed in Germany when areas of Schleswig, and most of the German states, were a part of the Holy Roman Empire. At this time, as the population of Europe swelled and travel became easier, people began to encounter others sharing their own name and they avoided confusion by adopting a second name. A common form of surname found in Schleswig are those that are derived from nicknames. Nickname surnames were derived from an eke-name, or added name. They usually reflected the physical characteristics or attributes of the first person that used the name. The surname Doss was a name for a loud or boisterous person. The distinguished name Doss is derived from the Old Germanic word dossen, which means to speak loudly or to make noise.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Dose (Hamburg), Dohse, Doose, Dase, Doss, Dosse, Dos, Doz, Dozze and many more.

First found in East Friesland, out of which the name quickly spread across the northern coastlands of Germany, in particular to Holstein and Mecklenburg. The name came from humble beginnings but gained a significant reputation for its contribution to the emerging mediaeval society. It later became more prominent as many branches of the same house acquired distant estates, some in foreign countries, always elevating their social status by their great contributions to society. The variations Dose and Dohse were found particularly frequently in Nordelbingen, as well as throughout Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg. In the Middle Ages, Dose became quite popular as a first name among knights. Chronicles mention, for instance, the knight Dose Block of Holstein in 1371. Chronicles also mention the figure Doso von Helle, who owned the village Dosenbeck near Preetz in Holstein. Its use as a last name may have stemmed from the area in East Friesland where the Dose river flows into the Ems.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Doss research. Another 239 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1291, 1337, 1476, 1740, 1762, and 1764 are included under the topic Early Doss History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 36 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Doss Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Doss Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Daniel Doss, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1754
  • Bernhart Doss came to Philadelphia in 1764

Doss Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Emma Doss, aged 17, who landed in America, in 1892

Doss Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Heinrich Doss, aged 26, who emigrated to the United States from Freiling, in 1904
  • Friedrich Doss, aged 18, who landed in America from Hamburg, in 1905
  • Franz Doss, aged 38, who emigrated to America from Hungary, in 1907
  • Richard Doss, aged 32, who landed in America from Passaic, Germany, in 1909
  • Adelherd Doss, aged 27, who emigrated to the United States from Nainbs, Germany, in 1910


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  • Private First Class Desmond T Doss (1919-2006), American soldier awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945
  • Noble Doss (1921-2009), American football player
  • Colonel Edwin A. Doss (1914-1996), American fighter pilot, commander in the U.S. Air Force during World War II and Korean War, recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, and the Air Medal
  • Mark Steven Doss (b. 1957), Grammy Award-winning African-American bass-baritone
  • Bill Doss (1968-2012), American co-founder of The Elephant 6 Recording Company in Athens, Georgia
  • James Houston Doss (b. 1915), prominent Texan bank director
  • Shannon Lowell Doss, American director of the Dallas Federal Business Association and President of the Texas State Teachers Association, decorated with an Air Medal


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  1. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  2. Oswald, G. Lexicon der Heraldik. Leipzig: 1984. Print.
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  4. Bahlow, Hans. Deutschlands geographische Namenwelt Etymologisches Lexikon der Fluss- und Ortsnamen alteuropaischer Herkunft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Print.
  5. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Steed, Henry Wickham . The Hapsburg Monarchy. London: Constable and Company, 1919. Print.
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
  10. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
  11. ...

The Doss Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Doss Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 24 February 2014 at 23:58.

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