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. Many of the families settled in Dublin before the massive migration to the capital in this century. The tradition of surnames in Ireland developed spontaneously, as the population increased and the former practice, first of single names and then of ephemeral patronymics or agnomina of the nickname type proved insufficiently definitive. At first the surname was formed by prefixing 'Mac' to the father's Christian name or 'O 'to that of a grandfather or earlier ancestor. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat.Early records of the name mention William Dolling, 1243 County Somerset. Edmund Dowlinge was documented in Ireland in the year of 1674. Stephen Dowling ( 1904-1986 ) was the English strip cartoonist, born in Liverpool, the creator of the super hero Garth (1942). After art studies and advertising work, he teamed with his brother Frank to create newspaper strips including Tich, Ruggles and Belinda Blue-Eyes. The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings.
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