Last name: Dower
This interesting name is occupational, deriving from the old English "dah" meaning dough, plus the agent suffix "er" (one who works with) which gives "the maker of dough, a baker". The first recording of the name dates from the 14th Century. John le Douar is entered in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in the year 1332. A William le Doghere is mentioned in the Subsidy Rolls of Surrey in 1333. In 1590 on September 21st Nicholas, son of John Dower, was christened at the church of St. Margaret, Westminster, London. This is the earliest recording of the modern spelling. On December 16th 1599, Alyce, daughter of Wyllm Dower, was christened at the church of St. Giles, Cripplegate in London. Variations in the spelling in the records include "Douer", "Dowher", "Dowers" and "Dowyer". One Henery Doure married Annas Hobson on September 27th 1653 at Coniston, Lancaster and Thomas Dowher married Jinnet Berry at Wigan on May 5th 1751. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard le Douar, which was dated 1332, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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