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 Dowdall. Local names were taken from the names of a place or a geographical feature where the person lived, held land, or was born. Originally, the place names were prefixed by de, which means from in French. This type of prefix was eventually either made a part of the surname if the place name began with a vowel or was eliminated entirely. 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 Dowdall family appears to have originally lived in a place called Dovedale or Dowdale in Yorkshire. The surname Dowdall 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 Dowdall surname is Dubhdal, this is one of the few instances where the element dubh is not derived from the adjective which means black.
Early Origins of the Dowdall family
Yorkshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.
Early History of the Dowdall family
Another 203 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1482, 1600, 1584, 1487, 1558, 1658 and 1641 are included under the topic Early Dowdall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dowdall Spelling Variations
spelling variations for the name Dowdall include Dowdall, Dovedale, Dowdale, Dowdell, Dowdle and others.
Early Notables of the Dowdall family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Dowdall family to the New World and Oceana
A great number of Irish families left their homeland in the late 18th century and throughout the 19th century, migrating to such far away lands as Australia and North America. The early settlers left after much planning and deliberation. They were generally well off but they desired a tract of land that they could farm solely for themselves. The great mass of immigrants to arrive on North American shores in the 1840s differed greatly from their predecessors because many of them were utterly destitute, selling all they had to gain a passage on a ship or having their way paid by a philanthropic society. These Irish people were trying to escape the aftermath of the Great Potato Famine: poverty, starvation, disease, and, for many, ultimately death. Those that arrived on North American shores were not warmly welcomed by the established population, but they were vital to the rapid development of the industry, agriculture, and infrastructure of the infant nations of the United States and what would become Canada. Early passenger and immigration lists reveal many Irish settlers bearing the name Dowdall:
Dowdall Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Dowdall Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Dowdall Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Dowdall Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Dowdall Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
Contemporary Notables of the name Dowdall (post 1700)
Dowdall Family Crest Products