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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

The spelling and overall form of Irish names tend to vary widely over time. The original Gaelic form of the name Doolittle is O Dubhlachta. Dubh, the first portion of this name, means black, while the second portion is likely derived from some obsolete Irish forename.


The surname Doolittle was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clįr) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

Irish names recorded during the Middle Ages are characterized by many spelling variations. This preponderance of variations for common names can be explained by the fact that the scribes and church officials that kept records during that period individually decided how to capture one's name. These recorders primarily based their decisions on how the name was pronounced or what it meant. Research into the name Doolittle revealed many variations, including Doolittle, Dolittle, Dulittle, Doelittle and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Doolittle research. Another 245 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1719 are included under the topic Early Doolittle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


More information is included under the topic Early Doolittle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Under the rule of England, land ownership in Ireland changed dramatically, and many native Irish families found themselves renting out land to farm from absentee owners. This was one of the prime reasons that immigration to North America began in the late 18th century: Irish farmers dreamed of owning their own parcel of land to work for themselves. At this point, the immigrants were at least of modest means for the passage across the Atlantic was often quite dear. In the 1840s the Great Potato Famine created an exodus of people of quite different means. These people were most often destitute: they either sold anything they had to gain a passage or they were sponsored by philanthropic societies. Many of these immigrants were sick from disease and starvation: as a result many did not survive the long transatlantic journey. Although those settlers that did survive were often despised and discriminated against by people already established in these nations, they were critical to rapid development of the powerful industrial nations of the United States and the country that would later become known as Canada. An examination of immigration and passenger lists shows many persons bearing the name of Doolittle or one of its variants:

Doolittle Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Abraham Doolittle, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1640
  • John Doolittle, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1643
  • John Doolittle of Lynn Massachusetts who settled there in 1643 and became Constable of Boston

Doolittle Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Albert Doolittle arrived in New York in 1820
  • G. Doolittle arrived in San Francisco California in 1850
  • A B Doolittle, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • O J Doolittle, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

  • Amos Doolittle (1754-1832), American engraver and silversmith, known as "The Revere of Connecticut"
  • Charles Camp Doolittle (1832-1903), American general in the Union Army during the American Civil War
  • Justus Doolittle (1824-1880), American Board missionary to China
  • W. Ford Doolittle (b. 1942), American biochemist, member of the US National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
  • Bev Doolittle (b. 1947), American watercolor artist
  • Russell F. Doolittle (b. 1931), American biochemist at the University of California
  • Melinda Marie Doolittle (b. 1977), American singer who finished as the third place finalist on the sixth season of American Idol
  • Sean Robert Doolittle (b. 1986), American Major League Baseball pitcher for the Oakland Athletics
  • James Rood Doolittle (1815-1897), American politician, United States Senator from Wisconsin (1857-1869)
  • General James Harold "Jimmy" Doolittle (1896-1993), American aviation pioneer; he served as a general in the United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War, American Commanding General of the Eighth Force, Okinawa (1945), awarded the Medal of Honor as commander of the Doolittle Raid
  • ...

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    Other References

    1. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
    2. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
    3. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
    4. 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.
    5. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
    6. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
    7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
    8. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    9. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
    10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    11. ...

    The Doolittle Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Doolittle 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 June 2016 at 14:27.

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