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Home: Surnames: Dorey Family Genealogy Forum

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Dorey Channel Island Nova Scotia Links
Posted by: martyn dorey (ID *****2970) Date: May 16, 2007 at 14:02:55
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I've seen a few posts on the board so I thought I would share what little I understand about the name and Nova Scotia.

My dear father once told me that my own Dorey name can be traced back to the 12 hundreds until church records were burnt in the Vale Church Guernsey. There are earlier records of Dorey's in the state of Normandy that spanned the Gulf of St Malo. In the Channel Islands, technically the Duchy of Normandy ruled by the Queen of England, and in French Normandy, lost to the French by King John, Dorey sirnames take up a couple of pages of the local phone books.

The spelling of Dorey in the region has been mooted to me to be a Norman spelling of the Franc name Doree, exported to the UK in 1066 to become Dory. I have heard different theories about the origin of the name, D'or for Gold, implying a Gold Gilter, a Goldsmith, or perhaps some sort of Jewish root. It may be that the Dorey's had golden hair, or perhaps Dore to sleep. Given what I know about my family I suspect sleepy is the most likely root.

In the Channel Islands it was important to be good with your hands as the local economy was driven by maritime trade. During the 100 years war between England and France the channel islands became a trade entrepot between England and France. Many Dorey's were engaged in the support functions to the Maritime trade in shipbuilding, and seafaring. Other Dorey's were farmers on the Islands. It is of note that at one point the channel islands had the biggest fishing fleet in the world, and were instrumental in the setting up of the cod fisheries in Nova Scotia. I understand that many Guernseymen and Jerseymen married local innuits and settled in Nova Scotia, others settled there with their families. There is I am told a clustering of Channel Island names in Novia Scotia, such as Dorey.

Thats all I know about the historical links. The Doreys are still very active in the Channel Islands with heavy involvement in the offshore finance industry. Many Islanders who remained in the maritime trades, including privateering became drawn to the financial markets in London. Is is suggested that the first generations from Gurensey went to Lloyds for commercial underwriting and later generations went to work in Lloyds to earn a more civilised crust.

A recent Baliff of Guernsey was Sir Graham Dorey, who chaired the design committe which created the Guernsey Flag.

Martyn Dorey

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