Here is some of my research:
The surname Dossett was in use in England as early as 1539. So, the surname probably originated in England. Doucet (Doucett, Doucette) may be the French equivalent. Perhaps the name originated in France and was introduced to England at or after the Norman conquest of 1066. One English author declared (or more likely guessed) that Dossett is "a corruption of Dorset. If not this, it must be baptismal, and be a corruption of Dowsett, which seems the more rational interpretation . . ." CHARLES WAREING BARDSLEY, A DICTIONARY OF ENGLISH AND WELSH SURNAMES (London, 1901, republished, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1980) at 249. (Bardsley assigned surnames to one of five classifications: (1) local--named after a place; (2) occupative--named for an occupation; (3) official-- surname derived from an official title; (4) baptismal--a personal name; and (5) nickname--origin of surname is a nickname).
I have not found a history of the Dossett family in England (to date). However, submissions to the International Genealogical Index (1992) reveal that the Dossett surname was in use in several counties by the mid-1500's:
London John Dossett 1539 married Jone Hall
Berkshire Eline Dossett 1542 married John Young
Bedford Robert Dossett 1543 born
Surrey Jone Dossett 1551 born
Gloucester Mergerat Dosset 1552 married Richard Symons
Shropshire Dorothy Dossett 1557 born to John Dossett
Buckingham Roger Dosset 1563 born
Hertford Phillip Dossat 1587 married Jone Franklyn
and that the surname was in use in the following English counties as early as follows:
Derby Catherine Dossett 1811 married John Green
Devon William Dossit 1746 married Judith Bennit
Dorset Elezebeth Dosett 1657 married John Burtt
Hampshire Elenor Dossett 1641 married Henry Fourd
Hereford Elizabeth Dosset 1768 married John Thompson
Kent John Dosset 1642 married Elizabeth Bell
Lancashire James Dossett 1852 born to William and Ann Dossett
Oxford Richard Dossett 1641 married Joane Kirkham
Somerset Dorothy Dosset 1607 married Edward Palmer
Sussex Benajmin Dossett 1620 married Agnes Cybe
What are the variations of the name? Until relatively recently there were no uniform rules for spelling. Record keepers sometimes spelled names phonetically, and even an individual might spell his own name different ways at different times. Unquestionably, variations of Dossett are Dosset, Dossit, Dosit, and Doset. Other possible spellings that may be variations are: Dosat, Dawcett, Dassett, Dauset, Dawsett, Dawson, Duzett, Douthat, Douthit, Dowsett, Doucet, Doucett, Doucette, and Dauzat. Making the search harder, some record keepers undoubtedly entered the name as Dorsett and Dawson. Some believe that Dossett was shortened from DeRossett, but this theory remains unproved.
Dossetts migrated to America during the colonial period (1607-1776), and afterward. However, to date I have been unable to connect a Dossett line to a Dossett who migrated to North America. The two “oldest” Dossett lines originate with Moses Dossett (my ancestor) who was living in Orange County, North Carolina in the mid-1750's, and Philip Dossett who was living in Orange County, North Carolina in the early 1760's. Proximity of time and geography suggest that Moses and Philip were related, but no link has been proved.
STEPHEN DOSSETT (born England, migrated to Maryland in 1669)
The first Dossett to settle in what became the United States may have been Stephen Dossett, who migrated from England to Maryland in 1669, THE EARLY SETTLERS OF MARYLAND--An index to names of immigrants complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records, Annapolis, Maryland, Gust Skordas [ed.] (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1994), at 138.: Liber (book)12, folio (page) 403, Transported 1669 (transported means that someone paid for his passage). Nothing more is known about Stephen.
JOSEPH DOSSETT (born England, migrated to America in 1735)
Joseph Dossett set sail for America in April, 1735, PETER WILSON COLDHAM, BONDED PASSENGERS TO AMERICA (London?), vol. IV. Nothing more is known about him or where he settled.
The treaty ending Queen Anne’s War, signed in 1713, required France to surrender all its claims to the Hudson Bay Territory, Newfoundland, and Acadia to England. The treaty, however, did not end the French and English rivalry for ownership of North America. In 1754, hostilities between France and England intensified (historians refer to this as the beginning of the French and Indian War). Fearing that Acadians would rebel, in 1755, the English authorities demanded that the French residents of Acadia take an oath of allegiance to the English throne. Those who refused were herded aboard transports and shipped to the English colonies from Massachusetts to South Carolina. Some settled in what became the United States; some made their way to Louisiana, and some eventually returned to Acadia. DOW, GEORGE FRANCIS, THE FRENCH ACADIANS IN ESSEX COUNTY [Massachusetts], Historical Collection of the Essex Institute, 45:4 (October 1909), at 307, lists sixteen Acadian Dossetts deported to Massachusetts in 1755:
Aaron Dossett 06
Anniable Dossett 23
Charles Dossett 14
Edmond Dossett 16
Eliza Dossett 06
Eliza Dossett 34
Elizabeth Dossett 18
John Dossett 14
John Dossett 47
Joseph Dossett 21
Mandely Dossett 12
Margt. Dossett 24
Mary Dossett 09
Mary Dossett 50
Peter Dossett 27
Peter Dossett 50
and JEHN, JANET, ACADIAN EXILES IN THE COLONIES (Covington, Kentucky, Jehn, 1977) at 187, reports:
Mary Dossett, age 50, arrived at Marblehead, Massachusetts, 1760 with ten relatives.
These people being French, most likely, their surname was Doucette (or some equivalent), which the English record keepers spelled as Dossett. Where these people ultimately migrated to had not been determined. Either they settled outside of Massachusetts or did not use the name Dossett. Had they stayed in Massachusetts, one would expect to find some of these Dossetts enumerated in the 1790 U.S. Census of Massachusetts. However, none of these persons appears in the 1790 Census, and only one, possibly two, Dossetts is reported living in Massachusetts at the time of the 1800 Census, INDEX TO THE 1800 CENSUS OF MASSACHUSETTS (1976), compiled by Elizabeth Petty Bently, neither of whom is listed among those exiled from Acadia:
pg. 84 Florence Dossett, Essex County, pg. 314 (roll 14)
pg. 85 Philemon Dowsett, Hampshire County, pg. 266 (roll 15).
JOHN DOSSETT and sons THOMAS and JOHN (Maryland, 1711)
The Will of John Dossett, dated May 9, 1711, was probated in 1711 in Prince George's County, Maryland, JAMES E. MAGRUDER compiler, INDEX OF MARYLAND COLONIAL WILLS 1634-1771 in the Hall of Records, Annapolis, Maryland (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1967) at 135. The Will provides this family information:
died: 1711 (probably Maryland)
wife: Ann _______
Thomas Dossett (son)
John Dossett (son)
Frances Hoy (daughter)
Eliza Bowing (daughter)
Ann Dossett (daughter)
Sarah Dossett (daughter)
Mary Dossett (daughter)
ABSTRACT AND INDEXES OF ALL NAMES MENTIONED IN COLONIAL WILLS OF MARYLAND 1635-1743, COTTON, JANE BALDWIN, MARYLAND CALENDAR OF WILLS, VOL. 3, pgs. 204-205 (Baltimore: Kohn & Pollock, 1906-1928)
John bequeathed 190 acres known as “the Orchard” to his son, Thomas, the “plantation” to John (Jr.) after the death of his(John Sr.’s) wife, Ann, and land to his five daughters. Perhaps subsequent land transactions involving Thomas and John (Jr.) will provide more information about them and their descendants.
WILLIAM GARNET DOSSETT (in Maryland, 1757)
William Garnet Dossett was listed as a drummer on the roster of Captain Alexander Beal's Company of Maryland Troops, serving 374 days beginning October 9, 1757 and ending October 18, 1758, when he deserted, MURTIE JUNE CLARK, COLONIAL SOLDIERS OF THE SOUTH 1732-1774 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1983) at 80, #13. Nothing more is known about him.
HENRY DOSSET, son of Francis Dossett (died in Virginia, 1759)
Henry Dosset executed a Will in May 1759 shortly before his death. His Will was probated in Frederick County, Virginia (which suggests he was resident of that county,)in August 1759. In his Will, Henry identifies his father, Francis, and five siblings. That is, Francis Dossett had at least six children (two sons and four daughters):
1. Henry Dosset (decedent)
2. Rachall (identified in Henry’s Will as his sister; no last name stated)
3. Jean (identified in Henry’s Will as his sister; no last name stated)
4. Eleanor (identified in Henry’s Will as his sister; no last name stated)
5. Francis (identified in Henry’s Will as his brother)
6. Susanah (identified in Henry’s Will as his sister; no last name stated)
No wife or children are mentioned in Henry’s Will, which suggests he was single and had no children. The fact that Henry made a bequest to his father, and does not mention his mother, suggests that his father, Francis, was alive in May 1759 (otherwise Henry would not have made the bequest) and that Francis’ wife (Henry’s mother) was dead at the time Henry made his Will. We know that Henry was living in the Virginia Colony, but do not now whether Francis or any of this other children were living in America.
HENRY DOSSETT and wife, Jenny Epes (married in Massachusetts, 1781)
A submission to the International Genealogical Index reports that a Henry Dossett, who was a relative of Edward Duzett, married Jenny Epes at Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, on March 17 (or 14), 1781, film number 0170413 and film number M500393 4056. Nothing more is known about Henry.
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