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

Origins Available: English, Scottish

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

The Dowler family name comes from the personal name Dougal. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Dhughaill and literally means "son of Dougal." The personal name Dougal, meaning "dark stranger."

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Spelling variations are a very common occurrence in records of early Scottish names. They result from the repeated and inaccurate translations that many names went through in the course of various English occupations of Scotland. Dowler has been spelled MacDowall, MacDowell, MacDugald, MacDill, Dowall, Dowler and many more.

First found in Galloway (Gaelic: Gall-ghaidhealaibh), an area of southwestern Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Dumfries and Galloway, that formerly consisted of the counties of Wigtown (West Galloway) and Kirkcudbright (East Galloway), where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dowler research. Another 386 words(28 lines of text) covering the years 1268, 1310, 1359, and 1363 are included under the topic Early Dowler History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 80 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dowler Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Dowler family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 106 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Numerous Scottish settlers settled along the east coast of the colonies that would become the United States and Canada. Others traveled to the open country of the west. At the time of the American War of Independence, some remained in the United States, while those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The highland games and Clan societies that sprang up across North America in the 20th century have helped many Scots to recover parts of their lost traditions. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Dowlers to arrive in North America:

Dowler Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Laurence Dowler, who arrived in Virginia in 1622
  • John Dowler, who landed in Virginia in 1622

Dowler Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Henry Dowler, who arrived in New York, NY in 1804
  • Thomas Dowler, aged 48, landed in Missouri in 1840

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  • Boyd Hamilton Dowler (b. 1937), former American football wide receiver
  • Thomas "Spook" Dowler (1903-1986), American football, basketball, and baseball player and coach
  • Lawrence Robert Dowler (b. 1954), American competitive swimmer at the 1976 Summer Olympics
  • Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Dowler (1895-1963), General Officer Commanding the East Africa Command of the British Army
  • Mike Dowler, retired Welsh professional football goalkeeper
  • Annabelle Dowler (b. 1974), English actress, best known for playing Kirsty Miller in the BBC Radio 4 soap The Archers
  • William Dowler, English founder of W Dowler & Sons, in 1744 in Birmingham, a large-scale manufacturer of buttons and whistles
  • Brendan John Dowler OAM (b. 1968), Australian gold and silver medalist wheelchair basketball player from Illawarra, New South Wales
  • Beau Dowler (b. 1987), former Australian rules footballer
  • Joseph Dowler (1879-1931), British silver and bronze medalist tug of war competitor at the 1908 Summer Olympics and 1912 Summer Olympics


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Vincere vel mori
Motto Translation: Victory

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  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  7. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  8. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  9. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  10. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  11. ...

The Dowler Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dowler 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 3 September 2014 at 21:21.

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