Dovedale History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Ireland already had an established system of hereditary surnames when the Strongbownians arrived. Often the two traditions blended together quite well due to some of their basic similarities, but the incoming Anglo-Norman system brought in some forms that were uncommon amongst the Irish. One of these Anglo-Norman anomalies was the prevalence of local surnames, such as Dovedale.

The local surnames of these Strongbownian invaders referred to places in Normandy, or more typically England, but eventually for those Anglo-Normans that remained in Ireland, the nicknames referred to places or geographical features of the island: they became true local names. The Dovedale family appears to have originally lived in a place called Dovedale or Dowdale in Yorkshire. [1]

Another source claims the name was originally from D'Ovesdale Manor in Litlington, Cheshire. [2]

The surname Dovedale belongs to the large category of Anglo-Norman habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The Gaelic form of the Dovedale surname is Dubhdal, this is one of the few instances where the element dubh is not derived from the adjective which means black.

Alternatively, the name Dowdale could mean "valley frequented by doves." [3]

Early Origins of the Dovedale family

The surname Dovedale was first found in Yorkshire, at Dowdale where the first records of the family appear in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379: Johannes de Dowedale; Willelmus de Dowedale; and Willelmus Doudale who all held lands there at that time. [1] Adam Dowedall was listed in Yorkshire in 1401. [2]

In Cheshire, John de Uvedale alias de Ovedale was listed her in the Feet of Fines for 1304; Peter Douedale was listed in 1336; and Hugh de Uuedale in the 13th century. [2]

The introduction to Ireland where the name is most popular, dates back to Strongbow's invasion of Ireland and was "prominent in the Pale since the Anglo-Norman invasion." [4]

Early History of the Dovedale family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dovedale research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1482, 1600, 1584, 1487, 1558, 1658 and 1641 are included under the topic Early Dovedale History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dovedale Spelling Variations

Medieval scribes and church officials spelled the names as they sounded, so a name was often spelled many different ways during the lifetime of a single person. The investigation of the origin of the name Dovedale revealed many spelling variations including Dowdall, Dovedale, Dowdale, Dowdell, Dowdle and others.

Early Notables of the Dovedale family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family up to this time was Sir Robert Dowdall (died 1482), an Irish judge who held the office of Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas; Christopher Dowdall of Castle Dowdall; Sir William Dowdall of Kilfinny, County Limerick; James Dowdall (d. 1600)...
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dovedale Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand Dovedale migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Dovedale Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. J. Dovedale, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Norfolk" arriving in Wellington, North Island, New Zealand on 18th June 1880 [5]
  • Mr. E. Dovedale, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Norfolk" arriving in Wellington, North Island, New Zealand on 18th June 1880 [5]
  • Mr. M. Dovedale, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Norfolk" arriving in Wellington, North Island, New Zealand on 18th June 1880 [5]


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  4. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, More Irish Families. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0)
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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