Dowling History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The original Gaelic form of the name Dowling is O Dubhlaoich, derived from the words dubh, which means "dark featured, great, prodigious, burned" [1], and laoch, referring to a hero or champion.

Early Origins of the Dowling family

The surname Dowling was first found in Westmeath (Irish: An Iarmhí) in the Irish Midlands, province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. According to O'Hart, the family claim descent through the MacMorough family which are descendants of the Heremon Kings of Ireland and were Chiefs in the County Wicklow and Queen's County. [1]

Early History of the Dowling family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dowling research. Another 83 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1544, 1628, 1590, 1591, 1615, 1628, 1787, 1844, 1787, 1801, 1785 and 1852 are included under the topic Early Dowling History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dowling Spelling Variations

The recording of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. Since the general population did not know how to read or write, they could only specify how their names should be recorded orally. Research into the name Dowling revealed spelling variations, including Dowling, O'Dowling, Doolan, Doolin, Dooling, Dowlin and many more.

Early Notables of the Dowling family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name at this time was Thady Dowling (1544-1628), an Irish annalist and language grammarian. "was a member of an old native family in the part of Ireland now known as the Queen's County. Of his life little is known beyond the circumstance of his having been about 1590 ecclesiastical treasurer of the see of Leighlin in the county of Carlow. In 1591 Dowling was advanced to the chancellorship of that see. He is mentioned in the record of a regal visitation in 1615 as an ancient Irish minister aged seventy-one, qualified to teach...
Another 96 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dowling Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Dowling migration to the United States +

In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the Dowling family came to North America quite early:

Dowling Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Francis Dowling, who settled in Virginia in 1643
  • Francis Dowling, who arrived in Virginia in 1643 [2]
  • Fr Dowling, who landed in Virginia in 1643 [2]
  • Joane Dowling, who landed in Maryland in 1659 [2]
Dowling Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Philip Dowling, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [2]
  • Nich Dowling, who landed in Virginia in 1704 [2]
  • Darby Dowling, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [2]
  • Patrick Dowling, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1765 [2]
  • James Dowling, who settled in Jamaica in 1773
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dowling Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • R K Dowling, who landed in New York in 1811 [2]
  • Richard Dowling, who arrived in America in 1812 [2]
  • Elizabeth Dowling, aged 28, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1813 [2]
  • William Dowling, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1817 [2]
  • John Dowling, who settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1820
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Dowling migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Dowling Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Nathaniel Downing U.E. who settled in Belle Vue, Beaver Harboutr, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 [3]
  • Mr. John Dowling U.E. who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 member of the Penobscot Association [3]
  • Mr. Lawrence Dowling U.E. born in Ireland who settled in Carleton [Saint John City], New Brunswick c. 1784 [3]
  • Mr. Samuel Dowling U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [3]
  • Mr. Thomas Downer U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [3]
Dowling Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Dowling, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1816
  • Denis Dowling, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1826
  • George Dowling, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1829
  • Mary Dowling, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1833
  • James Dowling, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1833
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Dowling migration to Australia +

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

Dowling Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Eliza Dowling, Irish convict who was convicted in Kildare, Ireland for life for murder, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 29th November 1801, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Miss. Winifred Dowling, (b. 1776), aged 25, Irish convict who was convicted in Kildare, Ireland for life for murder, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 29th November 1801, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, she died in 1862 [4]
  • Thomas Dowling, a blacksmith, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Mr. Isaac Dowling, (b. 1810), aged 18, English convict who was convicted in Somerset, England for life for house breaking, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 13th March 1828, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [5]
  • John Dowling, English convict from Somerset, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Dowling 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:

Dowling Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Margaret Dowling, aged 20, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Edward P Bouverie" in 1873
  • Michael Dowling, aged 21, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Howrah" in 1874
  • Richard C. Dowling, aged 39, a schoolmaster, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874
  • Sarah Dowling, aged 39, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874
  • Richard E. Dowling, aged 16, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Dowling (post 1700) +

  • Edward C. Dowling (1900-1974), American Democrat politician, Mayor of Hammond, Indiana, 1956-68; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Indiana, 1956, 1960
  • Tom Dowling (d. 2018), American college football coach
  • Richard William "Dick" Dowling (1838-1867), Irish-born, American Confederate Commander, noted as Houston Texas' first prominent citizen and hero
  • Keeley Kathleen Dowling (b. 1983), American soccer defender, member of the United States National Team
  • Brian John Dowling (b. 1947), American former college and professional NFL football player, starting quarterback of the Yale University football team
  • Doris Dowling (1923-2004), American film actress, known for her roles in The Lost Weekend (1945), Bitter Rice (1949), The Blue Dahlia (1946) and her television roles: The Dukes of Hazzard (1980-1984), Barnaby Jones (1974-1979) and others
  • Constance Dowling (1919-1969), American actress and model, elder sister of actress Doris Dowling
  • William C. Dowling (b. 1944), American Professor of English and American Literature at Rutgers University, New Jersey
  • Austin Dowling (1868-1930), American clergyman, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
  • Bairbre Dowling (b. 1953), Irish-born, American actress
  • ... (Another 48 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. James  Dowling (1887-1917), Canadian Able Seaman aboard the HMS Highflyer from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [7]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Bruce Dowling, Australian Midshipman from Australia, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [8]


  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bengal-merchant
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Argyle voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1831 with 251 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/argyle/1831
  7. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  8. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html


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