Show ContentsDowdle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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 Dowdle.

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 Dowdle family appears to have originally lived in a place called Dovedale or Dowdale in Yorkshire. [1]

Another source claims the name was originally from D'Ovesdale Manor in Litlington, Cheshire. [2]

The surname Dowdle 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 Dowdle surname is Dubhdal, this is one of the few instances where the element dubh is not derived from the adjective which means black.

Alternatively, the name Dowdale could mean "valley frequented by doves." [3]

Early Origins of the Dowdle family

The surname Dowdle was first found in Yorkshire, at Dowdale where the first records of the family appear in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379: Johannes de Dowedale; Willelmus de Dowedale; and Willelmus Doudale who all held lands there at that time. [1] Adam Dowedall was listed in Yorkshire in 1401. [2]

In Cheshire, John de Uvedale alias de Ovedale was listed her in the Feet of Fines for 1304; Peter Douedale was listed in 1336; and Hugh de Uuedale in the 13th century. [2]

The introduction to Ireland where the name is most popular, dates back to Strongbow's invasion of Ireland and was "prominent in the Pale since the Anglo-Norman invasion." [4]

Early History of the Dowdle family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dowdle research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1482, 1600, 1584, 1487, 1558, 1658 and 1641 are included under the topic Early Dowdle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dowdle Spelling Variations

Church officials and medieval scribes often simply spelled names as they sounded. As a result, a single person's name may have been recorded a dozen different ways during his lifetime. Spelling variations for the name Dowdle include: Dowdall, Dovedale, Dowdale, Dowdell, Dowdle and others.

Early Notables of the Dowdle family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family up to this time was Sir Robert Dowdall (died 1482), an Irish judge who held the office of Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas; Christopher Dowdall of Castle Dowdall; Sir William Dowdall of Kilfinny, County Limerick; James Dowdall (d. 1600)...
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dowdle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dowdle Ranking

In the United States, the name Dowdle is the 10,514th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

United States Dowdle migration to the United States +

In the 1840s, Ireland experienced a mass exodus to North America due to the Great Potato Famine. These families wanted to escape from hunger and disease that was ravaging their homeland. With the promise of work, freedom and land overseas, the Irish looked upon British North America and the United States as a means of hope and prosperity. Those that survived the journey were able to achieve this through much hard work and perseverance. Early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Dowdle:

Dowdle Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jacob Dowdle, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1757 [6]
  • Michael Dowdle, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1764 [6]
  • Michael Dowdle, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1764 [6]

Australia Dowdle migration to Australia +

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

Dowdle Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Michael Dowdle, (b. 1806), aged 30, Irish farm labourer who was convicted in County Clare, Ireland for 7 years for assault, transported aboard the "Earl Grey" on 27th August 1836, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. John Dowdle, (b. 1831), aged 19, Cornish farm labourer, from Colan, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Lord Stanley" arriving in New South Wales, Australia in 27th August 1850 [8]
  • Mr. George Dowdle, (b. 1862), aged 23, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Wistow Hall" arriving in Queensland, Australia on 25th August 1885 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Dowdle (post 1700) +

  • Donald Michael Dowdle (1937-1993), American NFL football fullback and linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers
  • John Erick Dowdle (b. 1973), American director, producer, screenwriter, and editor, best known for his many works on horror films

  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  4. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, More Irish Families. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0)
  5. ^
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th August 2021). Retrieved from
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  9. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook