- This interesting name is a dialectal variant nickname which derives from the Olde French "Douce" and was introduced by the Normans after 1066. It is an endearment name and means "the sweet one" and was originally a female baptism name which became a popular surname as Dowse, Dows, Dowsey, Dowson, Dowsing and Dowsett, they are all patronymics meaning "the son of Douce". This is an example of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of the nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to occupational or to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, supposed resemblance to an animal's or birds appearance or disposition, and to habits of dress.Robert Doucy marrying in London in 1651. John Dowsee was christened at St. Boltolphs in 1660 and Robert Dowsey was also christened at St. Mildreds, Bread Street, London in 1672. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes Dossey. which was dated 1569 Married Robertus Nelson at Stainyon in Cleveland. during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess" 1558 - 1603. 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.
Surnames reference. 2013.