Show ContentsDowland History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Dowland surname is a habitational name, taken on from Dowland in Devon. This place takes its name from the Old English word "du-fe," meaning "dove," and "land" meaning "land," or "an estate." [1]

Early Origins of the Dowland family

The surname Dowland was first found in Yorkshire where "the instance seems to imply another Dowland in that county, especially as the surname is fairly familiar in the North." [2]

Dowland is also a parish in Devon which dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was known as Duuelande. [3]

But we must again look to Yorkshire for the first record of the family; for it was there that Willelmus de Dowland was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. [2]

Early History of the Dowland family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dowland research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1455, 1487, 1490, 1563, 1626, 1584, 1588, 1592, 1597, 1610, 1626 and 1641 are included under the topic Early Dowland History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dowland Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Dowland, Douland, Dowlind, Dowlan, Doulin, Dowlman and many more.

Early Notables of the Dowland family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Thomas Dowland (1490s), a master mason, who built the west tower of the Holy Cross Guild Chapel at Stratford-on-Avon. John Dowland (1563-1626), was an English composer, singer and virtuoso lutenist, said to have been born at Westminster. In 1584 he visited France and Germany, and, after remaining some months in the latter country, crossed the Alps into Italy. Having returned to England he, in 1588, took the degree of Bachelor of Music at Oxford, and was subsequently admitted to the same degree at Cambridge. In 1592 he was one of the musicians engaged in harmonizing the...
Another 122 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dowland Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Dowland migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Dowland Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Pet Dowland, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [4]
  • Peter Dowland, who arrived in Virginia in 1650 [4]
  • Edmund Dowland, who arrived in Virginia in 1654 [4]
  • William Dowland, who landed in Maryland in 1667 [4]
Dowland Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Dowland, who arrived in Annapolis, Maryland in 1733
  • Margaret Dowland, a bonded passenger, who settled in America in 1761
  • Martin Dowland, who settled in Baltimore in 1768
  • Anthony Dowland, whose Oath of Allegiance was recorded in Pennsylvania in 1785
Dowland Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Michael Dowland, aged 34, who arrived in New York in 1812 [4]

Australia Dowland migration to Australia +

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

Dowland Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Ann Dowland, (Dolland, Doolan), Irish convict who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Experiment" on 21st January 1809, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. Charles Dowland, English convict who was convicted in Wiltshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 3rd November 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Alice Dowland, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on December 14, 1835, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [7]
  • William Dowland, aged 31, a carpenter, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Royal Charlie" [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Dowland (post 1700) +

  • John Dowland, English possibly Irish-born composer, singer, and lutenist
  • John Dowland (1563-1626), English lutenist songwriter
  • Squadron Leader John Noel Dowland GC (1914-1942), British officer awarded the George Cross for his gallantry in defusing a bomb which had fallen on the grain ship SS Kildare in Immingham docks on 11 February 1940


  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. 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)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 2nd June 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/experiment
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/aurora
  7. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1835 with 132 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1835
  8. South Australian Register Thursday 25th May 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Royal Charlie 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/royalcharlie1854.shtml.


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