This interesting surname of English origin with variant spellings Dockray, Dockerey, Dockwray, Dockeray, Dockwra etc., is a locational name from Dockray in Cumberland, deriving from the old Norse "dokk" meaning "a hollow, valley" or the old English pre 7th Century "docce" "dock, sorrel" and "(v)ra" "a corner". The placename is recorded as Dochora (1195), "The Feet of Fines", and as Dokwra (1292), "Placita de quo Warranto". The surname dates back to the early 14th Century, (see below). Church recordings include one Eliza Dockerey who married John Lewis on January 28th 1606 in London, Margaret Dockwray who married Thomas Arrys on March 23rd 1646 at St.Bartholomew the Less, London and Joseph, son of Joseph and Elisabeth Dockwray, who was christened on November 3rd 1730 at Christchurch, Spitalfields, Stepney. One William Dockwray (deceases 1716) was a London merchant. He established a postal system in the metropolis (1680), cast in a suit instituted by the Duke of York to protect his monopoly. He was comptroller of the penny post (1697 - 1700). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Dokwra, which was dated 1332, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Cumberland", 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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