Recorded in several forms including Dowsett, Dossett, Dosset, Dossit, Dorset and Dorsett, this is an English surname. It has two likely origins. The first is a nickname from the post 1066 Norman-French word "doucet", a diminutive of the Old French "doux or dous", meaning sweet to the eye. This in later Middle English became dowcet. As a nickname, this epithet would have been applied to one thought to be particularly agreeable in disposition, or perhaps given the robust humour of the period - the complete reverse! The second possible origin is from the county name of Dorset or originally Doreset. This name was often 'mangled' in pronunciation, and therefore became both fused and confused with 'doucet'. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving rolls and registers include: Walter fils Dussote in the Hundred Rolls for London of the year 1273, Geoffrey de Dorsete of Somerset, in the same rolls for 1273, John Dousete of London in 1376, and Francis Dorcett of London in 1545. Robert Dorset was a scholar at Oxford University in 1572, whilst the marriage of Thomas Dowsett and Eme Bowman was recorded at St. Mary Somerset, in the city of London, on July 11th 1586. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Dousot. This was dated 1315, in the "Feet of Fines of Huntingdonshire", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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