Recorded in various spellings including: Dollen, Dollin, Dolling, Dowling, Duling, Dulling, and possibly others, this is an Anglo-Irish surname. In England it is usually a derivative of the ancient word "dollyng", and hence a nickname for an honest person, one who was uncomplicated and "straight". In Ireland whilst the surname can be a settler name and of English origin, it is more likely to be of Gaelic and a derivative of O' Dunlain. This name translates as "The son of the descendant of the warrior", a reference to the first chief of the clan in the 9th century. The O' Dunlain were one of the original "Septs of Leix", and they held lands along the famous Barrow River. This area was known for many centuries as "Fearrann ua nDunlaing" or O' Dowlings country. The name development taken from surviving rolls and church registers of the British Isles include: Peter Dollyng, recorded in the city of Worcester in 1275, Thady Dowling, a famous Irish grammarian who flourished about the year 1544, George Duling at St Brides Fleet Street, on July 19th 1646, whilst George Dolling was recorded at St. Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on March 10th 1842. 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.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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