- Recorded originally as Doulben, and later as Doulden, this is a very rare surname. It is almost certainly not of English or British origins, there are no places or other surnames with anything like the same spelling, that we have been able to find. We believe that it was possibly German or Askenasic. However even this is in some doubt as the only proven early recording in either spelling that we have been able to prove positively is that of Ishmael Doulben. He married Ann Davidson at the church of St Nicholas Liverpool, on July 26th 1841. Was Doulben a form of something else, and if so what? Given that Liverpool in the 19th century was the second most important seaport in the world, it is quite possible that this name was originally that of a foreign sailor, and may have been something like Dollman or Tollman. Before the introduction of national schooling in the year 1870, only about 10% of the British population could read and write. Furthermore their ability to spell 'foreign' surnames was even worse, and people who entered the country were often given 'sounds like' quasi British spellings. This may be one of them.
Surnames reference. 2013.