This very interesting surname is of early medieval English origins, and describes one who was an official of the village. The Doleman was responsible for the maintenance of the boundary posts and markers which delineated the village limits, and he was also responsible for "the dole". This was an area of common land which was divided into areas and uses, such as grazing, cuttage and turvery, the latter being the right to take turf for fuel, the "Doleman" ensuring that the rights were not abused. The surname is recorded in the varied spellings of Dollman, Dolman, Doleman and the locational Dole, Doll and Deale.The modern meaning of "Dole" derives from the original medieval translation of "equal shares". The name, perhaps not surprisingly, is regularly recorded in early Court and Charter records; Richard Doleman appears in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire in 1279, whilst one of the earliest settlers in the New American Colonies (Virginia) was Thomas Doleman, who appears in the Muster of Captain Raph Hamor, on January 23rd 1624, having arrived in 1622 on the ship "Returne" of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Dolman, which was dated 1260, a witness at the "Cheshire Assize Courts", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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