This very interesting surname is English, but arguably of Norse-Viking origin. Recorded in a wide variety of spellings including: Docwra, Dockray, Dockerey, Dockwray, Dockeray, and Dockwra, it is a locational name from the village of Dockray in the county of Cumberland. The derivation is from the Norse-Viking word of the pre 7th century "dokk" meaning a hollow or valley, and "vra", meaning a corner. The area was under Norse control for several centuries, and they have left their mark with many place names such as this one. It is first recorded as Dochora in the registers known as "The Feet of Fines" for the year 1195, and later as Dokwra in the rolls called the "Placita de quo Warranto" of 1292. The surname is later, being early 14th Century, (see below). Early examples of church recordings include: Eliza Dockerey, who married John Lewis on January 28th 1606 at St Margarets church, Westminster, and Margaret Dockwra, who married Thomas Arrys on March 23rd 1646 at the church of St. Bartholomew the Less in the city of London. William Dockwray who died in 1716, was a London merchant. He established a postal system in the metropolis in 1680, and was comptroller of the penny post from 1697 to 1700. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of John de Dokwra. This was dated 1332, in the "Subsidy Rolls" of Cumberland, during the reign of King Edward 111,1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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