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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Dower family come from? What is the English Dower family crest and coat of arms? When did the Dower family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Dower family history?

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.

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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.

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] 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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dower research. Another 125 words(9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dower History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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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.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Dower Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Sarah Dower, aged 26, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Stag"
  • William Dower, aged 21, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Standard"
  • William Dower, aged 25, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Admiral Boxer"
  • John Dower, aged 20, a miner, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Victoria Regia"
  • Ellen Dower, aged 20, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Nugget"

Dower Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Margaret Dower, aged 19, a housemaid, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British Queen" in 1883
  • Mary Dower, aged 18, a housemaid, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British Queen" in 1883

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  • John W. Dower (b. 1938), American author, professor, and historian awarded the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction


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  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  3. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  8. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  9. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

The Dower Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dower Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 8 May 2014 at 09:21.

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