Show ContentsDovir History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the bearers of the Dovir family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found beside a small stream that emptied into a harbour. The surname Dovir originally derived from the Old English word Dofre.

Early Origins of the Dovir family

The surname Dovir was first found in Dover, a town and major ferry port in the county of Kent. The surrounding chalk cliffs have become known as the White Cliffs of Dover are known worldwide and the subject of the famous Vera Lynn wartime song so named. During the war, the cliffs were the last sight of mainland seen and then the first mainland seen by most of the returning soldiers. However, the town has a long history in its own right that dates back to at least the 4th century when it was first listed as Dubris [1] or Portus Dubris. By the Domesday Book of 1086, the local was known as Dovere [2] and derives its name from the stream there now called Dour. [1]

Today Dover Castle in Kent survives as a major tourist attraction attracting over 350,000 people annually. Beginnings of the present structure were founded in the 11th century. It has been a defensive stronghold through the centuries including through World War I and II. As the largest castle in England, it has a unique vantage point overlooking the harbour below. The Roman lighthouse at Dover Castle attests to the importance of the position since ancient days.

Early History of the Dovir family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dovir research. Another 79 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1575, 1612, 1641, 1660, 1720, 1742, 1852 and 1965 are included under the topic Early Dovir History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dovir Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Dovir include Dover, Dovar, Dovir and others.

Early Notables of the Dovir family

Notables of the family at this time include Sir Henry Dover of Bradenham Hall; and Robert Dover (1575-1641), English captain and attorney, known as the founder of the Cotswold Olimpick (Olympic) Games. He founded his annual Games held in the Cotwsold hills above Chipping Campden in about 1612, and presided over them for forty years. Revived after the Restoration, the Games continued until 1852, and were again revived in 1965.[3] Thomas Dover, M.D. (1660-1742), sometimes referred to as "Doctor Quicksilver", was an English physician. He developed his eponymous "Dover's powder" that was used as a treatment...
Another 95 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dovir Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Dovir family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Dovir or a variant listed above: Mary Dover who settled in Nantasket in 1630; Timothy Dover, who settled in Virginia in 1651; Anne Dover, who settled in New England in 1764; and Francis Dover, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1823..

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print on Facebook