Dower History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The name Dower reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Dower family lived in Herefordshire. The family settled in Dore in that county, and it is from this location that their surname derives.

Early Origins of the Dower family

The surname Dower was first found in Herefordshire at Dore Abbey, a former Cistercian abbey in the village of Abbey Dore in the Golden Valley. The abbey was founded in 1147 by Robert fitzHarold of Ewyas, the Lord of Ewyas Harold, and derives it name from the River Dore, a Celtic river-name meaning "the waters." [1]

"This parish derives its name from its situation on the river Dore, and from an abbey of White or Cistercian monks, founded here in the reign of Stephen, by Robert, son of Harold, Lord of Ewyas, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. Edmund." [2]

Dore is also a village in South Yorkshire which is listed in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle c. 829 when King Egbert of Wessex led his army to the village to receive the submission of King Eanred of Northumbria. Some claim that Egbert became the first king of England at Dore. Today the "Dore Stone," located on the village green commemorates King Egbert's victory.

Important Dates for the Dower family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dower research. Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dower History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dower Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Dower family name include Dore, Dorey, Dory, Dorie, Doar, Doare, Doore, Doorey, Doorie and many more.

Early Notables of the Dower family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Dower family to Ireland

Some of the Dower family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dower migration to Australia

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

Dower Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Dower, (b. 1815), aged 28 born in Truro, Cornwall, UK convicted in Warwick on 16th October 1843, sentenced for 10 years for stealing sheep, transported aboard the ship "Equestrian" in 1844 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [3]
  • Sarah Dower, aged 26, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Stag" [4]
  • William Dower, aged 21, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Standard" [5]
  • William Dower, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Admiral Boxer"
  • John Dower, aged 20, a miner, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Victoria Regia"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Dower 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:

Dower Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edwin Dower, (b. 1853), aged 21, Cornish miner departing on 10th April 874 aboard the ship "Stonehouse" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 29th June 1874 [6]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Dower, (b. 1854), aged 20, Cornish settler departing on 10th April 874 aboard the ship "Stonehouse" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 29th June 1874 [6]
  • Margaret Dower, aged 19, a housemaid, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British Queen" in 1883
  • Mary Dower, aged 18, a housemaid, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British Queen" in 1883

Contemporary Notables of the name Dower (post 1700)

  • John W. Dower (b. 1938), American author, professor, and historian awarded the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
  • David William "Dai" Dower MBE (1933-2016), British, Empire and European Flyweight boxing champion who had 34 wins in 37 fights

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Citations

  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/tasmanian_convicts_cornish.pdf
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STAG 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Stag.htm
  5. ^ South Australian Register Monday 18th December 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Standard 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/standard1854.shtml
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
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