Dowdeswal History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The present generation of the Dowdeswal family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in a region called Doda's well or spring. The surname Dowdeswal is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came.
Early Origins of the Dowdeswal family
The surname Dowdeswal was first found in Gloucestershire at Dowdeswell, an ancient Saxon village that dates back to the 8th century when it was known as Gogodeswellan. By the time of the Domesday Book of 1086, it was known as Dodesuuelle.  The place name literally means "spring or stream of a man called Dogod," from the Old English personal name + "wella." 
The first record of the family was found here when William de Dowdeswelle was listed as a Knights Templar in 1185.  Years later, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed William de Doudeswell, Oxfordshire and Robert de Doudeswell, Gloucestershire. 
Early History of the Dowdeswal family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dowdeswal research. Another 45 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1601, 1673, 1660, 1683, 1678, 1682, 1728, 1712, 1722, 1648, 1641, 1711 and 1784 are included under the topic Early Dowdeswal History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dowdeswal Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Dowdeswal include Dodswell, Dodwell, Dodswall, Dodwall and others.
Early Notables of the Dowdeswal family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Richard Dowdeswell (1601-1673), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1660, an active Royalist in the...
Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dowdeswal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dowdeswal family to Ireland
Some of the Dowdeswal family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 138 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dowdeswal family
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Dowdeswal were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: James Dodwell who settled in Philadelphia in 1861.
Related Stories +
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)