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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Irish


The original Gaelic versions of today's Irish names demonstrate a proud, ancient past. The original Gaelic form of the name Dockery is O Dochartaigh, from the word "dochartach," which means hurtful or obstructive and in this case, it would be termed as a nickname.

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The surname Dockery was first found in at Inishowen, in the barony of Raphoe, in County Donegal, where they were a large and influential sept, and were kin to the O'Donnells. They were one of the principal Irish clans to resist the Norman invasion of 1170 and were known as the Lords of Innishowen directly descended from the distinguished Irish General King Niall of the Nine Hostages, who was descended from the Heremon line of Irish Kings. The MacDevitts, who exist in large numbers in Inishowen, are descended from David O'Doherty, a chief of Cinel Conaill who was killed in 1208. Some members of the MacDevitt branch migrated to the territory of Oriel, now counties Louth, Monaghan, and south Down. There the "D" was aspirated creating the early Anglicization MacCaveat, and then the variation MacKevitt. Expanding their territory, they came to rule the peninsula of Inishowen in the 14th century. However, the poorly-timed and disastrous rebellion against the English crown led by Sir Cahir O'Dougherty in 1608, drastically reduced the power of the once powerful sept.

The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name Dockery were encountered in the archives: Dockeray, Dockerty, Dockharty, Dogherty, Dougharty, Dougherty, Doherty, Doherety, Dohertey, Docherty, Docharty, MacDevitt and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dockery research. Another 121 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1783, 1587, 1608 and 1608 are included under the topic Early Dockery History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 233 words (17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dockery Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the Dockery family came to North America quite early:

Dockery Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Daniel Dockery, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1764

Dockery Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Ellen Dockery, aged 60, who landed in America from Leitrim, in 1893
  • James Dockery, aged 48, who landed in America, in 1893
  • Kate Dockery, aged 20, who settled in America from Roscommon, in 1893
  • Bridget Dockery, aged 34, who landed in America from Stokestown, Co. Roscommon, in 1897

Dockery Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Joseph Dockery, aged 17, who settled in America from Carriglen Co. Lutrim, in 1905
  • James A. Dockery, aged 23, who emigrated to the United States from Dublin, in 1905
  • Kate Dockery, aged 19, who landed in America from Boyle, Ireland, in 1907
  • Bridget Dockery, aged 28, who emigrated to the United States from Kilnore, Ireland, in 1908
  • Annie Dockery, aged 18, who landed in America from Casterea, Ireland, in 1908


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  • Samuel Dockery (1929-2015), nicknamed Sure-Footed Sam, American hard bop pianist
  • Kevin Dockery, American fiction and nonfiction author and military historian
  • James Dockery (b. 1988), American football cornerback
  • Paula Dockery, Republican Party member of the Florida Senate
  • Sean Areon Dockery (b. 1983), American basketball player
  • Alexander Monroe Dockery (1845-1926), United States Representative
  • John "Rex" Dockery (1942-1983), American football player and coach
  • David S. Dockery (b. 1952), the American 15th president of Union University
  • Alfred Dockery (1797-1875), American Congressional Representative
  • Kevin Dockery (b. 1984), American football cornerback

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  • Dockerys of Dixie by William Glenn Allen.
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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: Ar Ndutcas
Motto Translation: Our heritage

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  1. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. 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.
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  5. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  6. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  7. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  10. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  11. ...

The Dockery Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dockery 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 2 January 2016 at 15:12.

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