The surname MacDowell is of Irish origin. The name is derived from the Gaelic ”dhubh-ghall’, dark foreigner. The statement that the name is derived from the Gaelic word ‘doilbh’ ( meaning dark, gloomy, melancholy ) may be discounted. It is one of the commonest of Irish surnames and as such can be considered one of the most Irish of Surnames. The traditional belief is that this family is descended from one of the Norseman who settled in pre-Norman times; and it is a fact that Doyles are and were always more numerous in areas adjacent to the sea coast, where Norse settlements existed. In early times the word dubhghall was used to denote a Norseman or Scandinavian. One of the most famous bearers of this name is that of Arthur Conan Doyle ( 1859-1930 ), the creator of Sherlock Holmes; another bearer of note is that of the sculptor Patrick Doyle ( 1799-1870 ). The surname dates back to the twelfth century were a Henry le Doyl is recorded in historical archives. One of the first fore fathers to bring this name to America is that of a James Doy… Coat of arms: Gules three…
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