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Home: Surnames: Dowley Family Genealogy Forum

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Anglo-Indian branch of Dowley
Posted by: Ian Dowley Date: May 28, 2001 at 13:11:34
  of 45

My line of the Dowley family has some Anglo-Indian history. I'm sorry I can't give more detailed dates at present.

ARTHUR DOWLEY (early 1800's - my great grandfather)
GEORGE DOWLEY (grandfather)
NORMAN DOWLEY (my father - born Madras 1913)

My father left India after Independance 1947 to come to London. He was a British passport hoder, as Anglo-Indians were counted as British subjects. He has a vague recollection of his grandfather (Arthur) having fair hair, so this may be the first instance of colonial settlement.
The Anglo-Indians are a mixed-race. When the colonial army tried to ship their wives over from Britain, to go and settle, many of them died during the harsh journey. So it became acceptable to marry fair skinned, higher caste women. Thus a sub-race was born, counting themselves as British, and performing a trusted administrative role during the Raj.
My theory is that Arthur Dowley, or his father, were part of the British military, and married "native".
My own reading has given an Irish (West Meath) origin to the surname. Anybody any ideas how it came to appear in India?!


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