Recorded as Docker (English), and Dooher and Dougher (Irish), this is a surname of uncertain origins. If English it is locational from either of two small hamlets called "Docker", in the counties of Westmorland and Lancashire. The place name means "The grazing land in the valley" from the pre 7th century Olde Norse-Viking word "dokr" The village in Westmorland appears in the charters of the county for the year 1155 as "Docherga". The surname is much later and not recorded before the 16th century, with Elizabeth Docker being recorded in the Lancashire Wills lists of 1579. We believe that this village was "cleared" in the period of the Enclosure Acts which occupied parliamentary time for over three hundred years between 1450 and 1750. Under these acts the village tenants were deprived of their common grazing, and forced off the land to seek homes and employment elsewhere, and some may have been offered land in Ireland. What is certain is that in Ireland the surname however spelt is very rare and generally only found in the Ulster county of Donegal. This was an area much affected by the introduction of English and Scottish settlers in the 17th century, most of whom came from the north of England and the south of Scotland. Although there is a claim that the Irish spellings are from the Gaelic words 'dubh chair', this pronounces like 'docker', although with the nonsensical translation of 'black dear'. We therefore have to conclude that the Irish spellings may well be developments of the English

Surnames reference. 2013.

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