This interesting name is of early medieval English origin, and is an occupational name for the servant of "Dow" or "Daw", itself a pet form of the name "David", which is a Hebrew male given name meaning "beloved". Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. It may also be that Dowman is an Anglicization of the Gaelic Irish "O'Deaghaidh", which translates as "the descendant or grandson of Deaghadh", a personal name of unknown etymology, but thought to be composed of the elements "deagh", good, and "adh", luck or fate. Traditionally, Irish family names are taken from the heads of tribes, revered elders, or from some illustrious warrior, and are usually prefixed by "O" (as above) or "Mac", denoting "son of". Recordings from London Church Registers include: the marriages of Henry Dowman and Amy Hoden on December 27th 1613, at St. Michael's, Bassishaw; the marriage of George Dowman and Hellinor Good on August 21st 1628, at St. Bride's, Fleet Street; and the christening of Elizabeth Dowman on December 18th 1668, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. A Coat of Arms granted to a Dowman family from York is a blue shield, three black martlets on a gold fesse dancettee, the Crest being on a mural coronet a bunch of seven red arrows banded. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam Douman, which was dated 1332, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Cumberland", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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