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About the study
My name is June Willing and I have been researching my family history since 1975. I began the Dominicus One-Name Study in 1991, having discovered an ancestor named Susannah Dominicus who had married Philip Tidd in 1729 in Gillingham, Kent. Susannah was the daughter of George Dominicus and Elizabeth Woodward, who married at St Thomas, Portsmouth in 1704.
I joined the Guild of One-name Studies in 1993, and have been collecting Dominicus references ever since, but I still cannot prove where George came from, or who his parents were. He may be George, son of George Dominicus, a stranger, baptised on 18 July 1678 at St Cuthbert, Darlington, County Durham.
Dominicus probably orginated in the Netherlands. A search of Dutch phone books in the 1990s revealed that it is most commonly found today in the provinces of Zeeland, Noord-Brabant (North Brabant) and Gelderland, which are the most southerly provinces of the country. It is also found in adjacent areas of Germany and Belgium.
History of the name
George Dominicus (1751-1827) of the East India Company was the most prominent bearer of the name in Britain. He entered the East India Company’s service in 1770, aged 19, and in 1787 he was appointed the Husband (manager) and Warehouse-keeper at Botolph Wharf. He retired around 1808, having presumably made a considerable fortune. His will indicates that he died a very wealthy man, with a property at Court Lodge, East Farleigh, Kent.
The illustration above shows George’s coat of arms. Click the image to see an enlarged view. Thank you to Emlen Hutchinson Evans for the image of the bookplate, taken from a copy of Humphry Repton's Observations of the theory and practice of landscape gardening, which was published in 1803. The book belonged to his great-great-grandfather, Edmund Cadwalader Evans, who purchased it in 1878.
George was the grandson of my ancestor George Dominicus (d 1741), a ship carpenter in the Royal Navy, and the son of Abraham Dominicus (1707-1754). Abraham began his working life as a servant to his father, progressed to Able Seaman and, having left the Royal Navy and entered the service of the East India Company, rose to be the Captain of the Delaware by the time of his death.
The data I have on Dominicus in Britain consists mainly of parish register entries, with dates ranging from 1571 to 1822. There is only a handful of births, marriages and deaths in the civil registration indexes (1837 onwards in England and Wales). There are also some marriage licences and a handful of wills.
So far, I have very little data from the Netherlands, but I hope to remedy that as time allows.