This unusual name is of locational origin from the place called 'Dowles' on 'Dowles Brook' in Worcestershire. Dowles is a river name, a compound of the Welsh 'du' ('dubo', ancient British pre Roman) black, plus Old Welsh 'gleis', stream, hence 'black stream'. It was recorded as 'Dules' in 1217 and as 'Doules' in 1292. Locational surnames were usually acquired by the lord of the manor and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who moved to another area and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace.The surname was first recorded in the early 17th Century (see below). One Jane Dowles was christened on June 1st 1644 in St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, London. On October 5th 1650, Ellen Doules married John Dormar in St. Brides, Fleet Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jane Dowles (christening), which was dated 1618, Naunton Beauchamp, Worcestershire, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603-1625. 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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