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

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

The name Dower reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Dower family lived in Herefordshire. The family settled in Dore in that county, and it is from this location that their surname derives.

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Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Dower family name include Dore, Dorey, Dory, Dorie, Doar, Doare, Doore, Doorey, Doorie and many more.

First found in Herefordshire at Dore Abbey, a former Cistercian abbey in the village of Abbey Dore in the Golden Valley. The abbey was founded in 1147 by Robert fitzHarold of Ewyas, the Lord of Ewyas Harold, and derives it name from the River Dore, a Celtic river-name meaning "the waters." [1] Dore is also a village in South Yorkshire which is listed in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle c. 829 when King Egbert of Wessex led his army to the village to receive the submission of King Eanred of Northumbria. Some claim that Egbert became the first king of England at Dore. Today the "Dore Stone," located on the village green commemorates King Egbert's victory.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dower research. Another 125 words(9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dower History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Dower Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Dower family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Dower family to immigrate North America: James Dore who settled in Virginia in the year 1621; one year after the arrival of the "Mayflower"; followed by James in 1774; Mrs. Dore arrived in Norfolk Virginia in 1820 with her child.

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  • John W. Dower (b. 1938), American author, professor, and historian awarded the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction


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  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  2. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  3. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  6. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  9. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The Dower Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dower 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 8 May 2014 at 09:21.

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