Recorded in several forms including Dowsett, and the more unusual Dossett, Dosset, and Dossit, this is an English surname. It is one of that interesting group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These were given with reference to a variety of distinguishing features, among them physical attributes or peculiarities, and mental and moral characteristics. In this case, the surname derives from the post 1066 Norman word "doucet", a diminutive of the Old French "doux or dous", meaning sweet to the eye. This in later Middle English became dowcet. As a nickname, this epithet would have been applied to one thought to be particularly agreeable in disposition, or perhaps given the robust humour of the period - the complete reverse! Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving rolls and registers include Walter fil Dussote in the Hundred Rolls of the year 1273, John Dousete of London in 1376, William Doucet also of London in 1411. The marriage of Thomas Dowsett and Eme Bowman was recorded at St. Mary Somerset, in the city of London, on July 11th 1586, whilst Raphe Dossett was a witness at St Andrews Holborn, on July 12th 1590. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Dousot. This was dated 1315, in the "Feet of Fines of Huntingdonshire", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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