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Dowling History


DOWLING was derived from the Gaelic O’Dunlaing, one of the seven septs of Leix, which was located in the west of County Leix, along the banks of the river Barrow. From there, they spread southwards into County Kilkenny and westwards into County Carlow and County Wicklow.

The name comes from Ireland at around 350 AD.

The name is a Gaelic Irish Surname that originally referred to the ‘Sept’ of UiDublhaoidh who were Lords of Fertullagh in the County of Westmeath around that time.

In the ancient kingdom of Leinster (a province which covers the South-East of Ireland) were the Irish Chiefs and Septs of Hy-Kinselagh and Cualan. In their lands the Dowlings were Chiefs of SiolElaigh and the Lagan.

Dowling Coat of Arms

Dowling Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms

The Dowling Coat of Arms, are the only coats of arms registered with the Chief Herald in Dublin in the name of Dowling. – assigned to Mortagh Dowling of Kilkenny,

by Ulster King of Arms, on 5th August 1662



Silver shield with a holly tree showing its roots in its natural colours. Then on a blue top third of the shield (note: this is part of the design rather than a denotation of the joining of families), a lion facing left with foreleg raised between two leaves with three petals showing stalks in gold.

Crest: A blue lion’s head torn raggedly with two gold rings around neck.

Family Motto – Fortis et Egregius
From the Latin meaning – Strong and Distinguished

Fortis: adjective strong, sturdy, brave, manly, resolute
Egregius: adjective outstanding, surpassing, distinguished, illustrious





  4 comments for “Dowling History

  1. Félix
    October 7, 2019 at 01:40

    I’m a descendent of Patric O’dowling. Please let me know more. He went to South America in the 18 century scaling from the religious discrimination.

    • March 12, 2021 at 08:59

      My Great Grandfather Patrick Dowling, passed in Kildare County, his sons migrated to the US, settling in Cleveland. I do not believe we have relatives in South America, but definitely in Australia (the penal colonies).

  2. David Doolin
    November 12, 2020 at 18:59

    My last name is Doolin. Is it a derivative of this?

    • March 12, 2021 at 08:54

      Yes, Dowling and Doolin are forms of the same O’Dunlaing
      Ó DÚNLAING, Ó DUNLAING— I — O Dowling, O Doolin, Dowling, Dowlin, Dooling, Doolin, Doolen, Doolan, &c.; ‘descendant of Dunlang’ (an ancient personal name, also written Dúnlang; the name (1) of a numerous family in Leinster, who were at one time lords of Leix; and (2) of a family of Corca Laoighdhe, in South-west Cork, still numerous in Cork and Kerry.

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