Dowden History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish surnames in use today are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Dowden originally appeared in Gaelic as O Dubhdin, O Dubhdain, or O Dubhdaing. In each of these possibilities, the first portion of the name is derived from the word dubh, which means black, while the second portion probably comes from some obsolete Irish personal name.

Early Origins of the Dowden family

The surname Dowden was first found in Dublin (Irish: Áth Cliath) located on the east coast of Ireland in the province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the Dowden family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dowden research. Another 93 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1596 are included under the topic Early Dowden History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dowden Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, a standardized literary language known by the general population of Ireland was a thing of fiction. When a person's name was recorded by one of the few literate scribes, it was up that particular scribe to decide how to spell an individual's name. So a person could have several spelling variations of his name recorded during a single lifetime. Research into the name Dowden revealed many variations, including Dowding, Douding and others.

Early Notables of the Dowden family (pre 1700)

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


Australia Dowden migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Dowden Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Elizabeth Dowden, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke of Bedford" in 1848 [1]
  • Charles Dowden, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "David Malcolm" in 1849 [2]
  • Elizabeth Dowden, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "David Malcolm" in 1849 [2]
  • Edward Dowden, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harpley" in 1849 [3]
  • John Dowden, aged 39, a mason, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Magdalena" [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Dowden 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:

Dowden Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Dowden, aged 38, a carpenter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waipa" in 1876
  • Sarah Dowden, aged 39, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waipa" in 1876
  • Sarah Jane Dowden, aged 10, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waipa" in 1876
  • Mary Louise Dowden, aged 9, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waipa" in 1876
  • Lucy L. Dowden, aged 7, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waipa" in 1876
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Dowden (post 1700) +

  • Stephen "Steve" Dowden (b. 1929), American former NFL tackle from Natchitoches, Louisiana
  • Corey Dowden (b. 1968), American former NFL defensive back from New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Hester Dowden (1868-1949), Irish spiritualist medium, notable for having claimed to contact the spirits of Oscar Wilde, William Shakespeare and other writers, daughter of Edward Dowden
  • John Dowden (1840-1910), Irish prelate, Bishop of Edinburgh (1886-1910)
  • Edward Dowden (1843-1913), Irish critic and poet
  • Ken Dowden (b. 1950), English Professor of Classics and Head of School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham


  1. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) DUKE OF BEDFORD 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848DukeofBedford.htm
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) DAVID MALCOLM 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849DavidMalcolm.htm
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HARPLEY 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Harpley.htm
  4. ^ South Australian Register Friday 26th August 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Magdalena 1853. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/magdalena1853.shtml


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