This interesting surname of Scottish and Irish origin and derived from the Gaelic personal name Dubhgall, composed of the elements "dubh" meaning "black" plus "gall", "stranger". This was used as a byname for Scandinavians, in particular to distinguish the dark-haired Danes from fair-haired Norwegians. The surname dates back to the early 12th Century, (see below). Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Dougal, Dougill, Dugall, Dugald, Dowall, Doyle, etc.. One William Dowell married Margaret Body on July 7th 1544 at St.Antholin Budge row, London. Jeames Dowell married Janne Redley on January 31st 1596 at St. Katherine by the Tower, London, and Ellen Dowell married Edward Hardwood on December 1st 1617 at St. Dunstan, Stepney, London. One Bridget Dowell, together with her son William, who were famine emigrants, sailed from Liverpool aboard the Roscine bound for New York on June 21st 1847. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Dufgal filius Mocche, which was dated circa 1128, St. Serf's Island in Loch Leven, during the reign of King David 1 of Scotland, 1124 - 1153. 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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