Douw History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Douw family

The surname Douw was first found in Berwickshire where the name is likely from the Gaelic, Dhu (dubh), Anglicized as "black" or from "don or doo," the Scottish for dove or pigeon. [1]

Another source postulates the name could have been a variant of Dove or Dawe.

The first on record of the family was Ede Douw who held land in 'vico boreali,' Edinburgh, 1366. Four years later, John Dowe was a witness at an inquest taken at Berwick-on-Tweed, 1370. "Dow is not uncommon in Perthshire appearing there in 1497, when Robert Dow held a land in Perth." [2]

Further to the south, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Agnes Dowe; Hgo Dowe; Alicia Dowe; and Adam Dowe-man, the servant of Dow. [3]

Turning back the clock further, we found Robertus filius Duue, Doue listed in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire in 1166 and Ralph, William Duue were listed in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk in 1197. [4]

Early History of the Douw family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Douw research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1370, 1500, 1527, 1510, 1516, 1527, 1574, 1640, 1695, 1640, 1658, 1616, 1561, 1618, 1580, 1665, 1645, 1555, 1630 and 1555 are included under the topic Early Douw History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Douw Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: McDow, Dow, Dowe, Dove, Dows, Dowes, Doves and others.

Early Notables of the Douw family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was Henry Dove, (1640-1695), Archdeacon of Richmond, son of a clergyman, born in 1640, and elected from Westminster to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1658. He was also a politician, Mayor of Salisbury, Wiltshire in 1616. John Dove (1561-1618), was 'a Surrey man, born of plebeian parents,' and scholar of St. Peter's College, Westminster, whence...
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Douw Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Douw family to Ireland

Some of the Douw 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 and printed products wherever possible.


United States Douw migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Douw Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Volkert Janse Douw, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1620-1664 [5]
  • Volckert Janszen Douw, who arrived in Albany, NY in 1638 [5]
  • Volckert Janse Douw, who arrived in New York in 1642 [5]
  • Volckert Jansz Douw, who landed in New York, NY in 1642 [5]
  • Volkert Hansen Douw, who arrived in America in 1650 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Douw (post 1700) +

  • Volkert Petrus Douw (1720-1801), American politician, Mayor of Albany, New York, 1761-70; Member of New York State Senate Western District, 1785-93
  • John deP. Douw, American politician, Mayor of Annapolis, Maryland, 1905-07
  • William Douw Lighthall K.C., LL.D., F.R.S.C., (1857-1954), Canadian lawyer, historian, novelist, poet, philosopher, anthologist, and editor, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1902


The Douw Motto +

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: Patiens
Motto Translation: Patient.


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ 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)


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