This is an interesting and unusual name of medieval origin and is a dialectal variant of the name Daw, itself a name that can be either English or Welsh, with totally different origins. The Welsh form is from the pet name "Daw" for David, which is Hebrew for "friend" or "beloved of God". The English origin is from a typically robust 14th century nickname which derives from the Old English pre 7th century "Dawe", the jackdaw, a bird noted for among other things, it's black shiny colour, loud raucous voice and thievish nature, anyone of which characteristics might have given rise to such a nickname! The variant patronymic Dowse and Douse include the recordings Thomas Dowse, at St.Mary Aldermary, London on February 24th 1683, whilst Thomas Douce (or Douse) was married at St. Mary le Bone on September 29th 1668. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Dawe, which was dated 1211, in the "Pipe Rolls of Worcestershire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216 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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