Dowsing History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Dowsing family name is linked to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from the personal names Douce and Dow. This patronymic name is augmented by the suffix -son, which superseded the other patronymic suffixes in prominence by the 14th century, and was most common in the north of England.

Early Origins of the Dowsing family

The surname Dowsing was first found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 which included: Jordan Dousing, Lincolnshire; and Richard Dusing, Norfolk. Later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Johannes Dousyng as holding lands there at that time. [1]

Early History of the Dowsing family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dowsing research. Another 176 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1320, 1327, 1349, 1379, 1573, 1596, 1668 and 1643 are included under the topic Early Dowsing History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dowsing Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Dowsing include Dowson, Douson, Doweson, Dowsoun, Douseson, Douceson and many more.

Early Notables of the Dowsing family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: William Dowsing (1596-1668) was an English iconoclast under orders in 1643 which stated that "all Monuments of Superstition and Idolatry should be removed and abolished", specifying: "fixed altars, altar rails, chancel...
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dowsing Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Dowsing migration to Australia +

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

Dowsing Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Dowsing, (b. 1776), aged 27, British farmer who was convicted in London, England for 7 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1839 [2]
  • Charles Dowsing, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Simlah" in 1849 [3]

New Zealand Dowsing 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:

Dowsing Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry T Dowsing, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Spray of the Ocean" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 1st September 1859 [4]
  • Mrs. Emma Dowsing, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Spray of the Ocean" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 1st September 1859 [4]
  • Miss Emma L Dowsing, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Spray of the Ocean" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 1st September 1859 [4]
  • Mr. Henry T Dowsing, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Spray of the Ocean" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 1st September 1859 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Dowsing (post 1700) +

  • William Dowsing (1576-1679), English Puritan


  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. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The SIMLAH 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Simlah.htm
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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