Dorchester History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Dorchester family

The surname Dorchester was first found in Oxfordshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Dorchester which were held by Bricteva, a Norman noble, as under-tenant from the Bishop of Lincoln who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086. Dorchester was a large village my Domesday standards, having 5 Mills, and 51 sticks (rights) of Eels.

Early History of the Dorchester family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dorchester research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1297, 1524, and 1568 are included under the topic Early Dorchester History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dorchester Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Dorchester, Dorcester, Dossiter, Dossitor, Dossetter, Dosseter, Dossiter and many more.

Early Notables of the Dorchester family (pre 1700)

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

United States Dorchester migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Dorchester Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Anthony Dorchester, who settled in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1649
  • Anthony Dorchester, who landed in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1649 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Dorchester (post 1700) +

  • Dudley Carleton Viscount Dorchester (1573-1632), English statesman and diplomat

  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook