Dowding History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish surnames in use today are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Dowding 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 Dowding family

The surname Dowding 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 Dowding family

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

Dowding Spelling Variations

Names during the Middle Ages were often recorded under several different spelling variations during the life of their bearers. Literacy was rare at that time and so how a person's name was recorded was decided by the individual scribe. Variations of the name Dowding include Dowding, Douding and others.

Early Notables of the Dowding family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Dowding family

Many destitute Irish families in the 18th and 19th centuries decided to leave their homeland, which had in many ways been scarred by English colonial rule. One of the most frequent destinations for these families was North America where it was possible for an Irish family to own their own parcel of land. Many of the early settlers did find land awaiting them in British North America, or even later in America, but for the majority of immigrants that arrived as a result of the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s the ownership of land was often a long way off. These Irish people were initially put to work on such industrial projects as the building of bridges, canals, and railroads, or they worked at manufacturing positions within factories. Whenever they arrived, the Irish made enormous contributions to the infant nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the earliest immigrants to bearer the name of Dowding were found through extensive research of immigration and passenger lists: Ann Douding who settled in Maryland in 1680.


Contemporary Notables of the name Dowding (post 1700) +

  • Keith Dowding, Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics
  • Peter McCallum Dowding (b. 1943), 24th Premier of Western Australia
  • Derek Dowding, Consulting Engineer
  • Hugh Caswall Tremenheere Dowding GCB GCVO CMG (1882-1970), Scottish officer in the Royal Air Force. He was the commander of RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain

HMS Royal Oak
  • Percy William George Dowding (1920-1939), British Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [1]
SS Newfoundland
  • Mr. Alphaeus Dowding (1892-1914), Newfoundlander from Newtown, who on the 30th March 1914 he was part of the Seal Crew of the "SS Newfoundland" leaving the ship to intercept the Stephano which took him to the hunting grounds, he disembarked to begin sealing, but was caught in a thickening storm, attempting to return to the Newfoundland he and the 132 crew made camp for two days the sealers were stranded on the ice in a blizzard attempting to return to the ship, he died during this time
  • Mr. Harry Dowding (1892-1914), Newfoundlander from Templeman, who on the 30th March 1914 he was part of the Seal Crew of the "SS Newfoundland" leaving the ship to intercept the Stephano which took him to the hunting grounds, he disembarked to begin sealing, but was caught in a thickening storm, attempting to return to the Newfoundland he and the 132 crew made camp for two days the sealers were stranded on the ice in a blizzard attempting to return to the ship, he died during this time


  1. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


Houseofnames.com on Facebook