Recorded in various spellings including: Dollen, Dollin, Dolling, Dowling and O'Dowling, this is an Anglo-Irish surname of pre medieval or even 7th century origins. If English it is a derivative of the word "dollyng", and hence a nickname for an honest person, one who was uncomplicated and "straight". In Ireland the recordings are O'Dowling, Dolling and Dowling, and the latter two may be of English origin or may be a derivative of the original Gaelic O'Dunlain. Translating as "the son of the descendant of the warrior", a reference to the first chief of the clan in the 9th century, and one of the original "septs of Leix", they held lands along the famous Barrow River, which was for many centuries know as "Fearrann ua nDunlaing" or O'Dowlings country. The name development taken from surviving rolls, registers and charters of England Ireland include: Peter Dollyng, recorded in the city of Worcester in 1275, Thady Dowling, a famous Irish grammarian who flourished about the year 1544, and Joan Dollin, who married Gilbert Knapp in London in 1617. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of William Dolling. This was dated 1243, in the "Pipe Rolls" of the county of Somerset, during the reign of King Henry 111, 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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