Place:Dover, Kent, England

NameDover
Alt namesDouvressource: Rand McNally Atlas (1989) I-49
Doverasource: Domesday Book (1985) p 147
Doveresource: Domesday Book (1985) p 147
Dubrasource: ARLIS/NA: Ancient Site Names (1995)
Dubrissource: GRI Photo Archive, Authority File (1998) p 15043; Times Atlas of World History (1989) p 341
Dubris Portissource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) I, 251
Dubris Portussource: ARLIS/NA: Ancient Site Names (1995)
Dubroesource: Blue Guide: England (1980) p 70
Dwyrsource: ARLIS/NA: Ancient Site Names (1995)
TypeTown, Borough (municipal)
Coordinates51.123°N 1.313°E
Located inKent, England
See alsoDover District, Kent, Englanddistrict municipality into which it was absorbed in 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Dover is a town and major ferry port in the home county of Kent, in South East England. It faces France across the narrowest part of the English Channel, and lies south-east of Canterbury; east of Kent's administrative capital Maidstone; and north-east along the coastline from Dungeness and Hastings. The town is the administrative centre of the Dover District and home of the Dover Calais ferry through the Port of Dover. The surrounding chalk cliffs have become known as the White Cliffs of Dover, and the narrow sea passage nearby – the Strait of Dover. Its strategic position has been evident throughout its history: archaeological finds have revealed that the area has always been a focus for peoples entering and leaving Britain. The name of the town derives from the name of the river that flows through it, the River Dour. The town has been inhabited since the Stone Age according to archaeological finds, and Dover is one of only a few places in Britain – London, Edinburgh, and Cornwall being other examples – to have a corresponding name in the French language, Douvres.

There was a military barracks in Dover, which was closed in 2007. Although many of the former ferry services have declined, services related to the Port of Dover provide a great deal of the town’s employment, as does tourism. The prospect of privatising the sale of the Port of Dover to create increased cash flow for the government was given a recent ironic twist due to the rejection of a possible bid from the town of Calais in France after opposition in Dover against any sale forced the government to withdraw the Port from the market. Local residents had clubbed together to propose buying it for the community, more than 12,000 people have bought a £10 share in the People's Port Trust.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The name Dover was first recorded in Latinised form as Portus Dubris, which was for many years explained as derived from the Brythonic Dubrās ("the waters") referring to its river Dour. However, a recent detailed study showed that the name is far more likely to come from an ancient word for 'double bank' referring to the shingle spit(s) that formed across the harbour entrance, for which a word dover is still used in the Isle of Wight. Subsequent name forms included Doverre; the modern name was in use at least by the time Shakespeare wrote King Lear (between 1603 and 1606), in which the town and its cliffs play a prominent role. The cliffs may have given England its ancient name of Albion ("white").

Dover’s history, because of its proximity to France, has always been of great strategic importance to Britain. Archaeological finds have shown that there were Stone Age people in the area; and that by the Bronze Age the maritime influence was already strong. Some Iron Age finds exist also, but the coming of the Romans made Dover part of their communications network. Like Lemanis (Lympne) and Rutupiae (Richborough) Dover was connected by road to Canterbury and Watling Street; and it became Portus Dubris, a fortified port. Forts were built above the port; lighthouses were constructed to guide passing ships; and one of the best-preserved Roman villas in Britain is here.

Dover figured largely in the Domesday Book as an important borough. It also served as a bastion against various attackers: notably the French during the Napoleonic Wars; and against Germany during World War II. It was one of the Cinque Ports during medieval times.

Research Tips

  • Dover in A Vision of Britain Through Time
  • Kent County Council Archive, Local Studies and Museums Service. James Whatman Way, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1LQ. This incorporates the Centre for Kentish Studies in Maidstone and the East Kent Archives Centre near Dover.
  • Canterbury Cathedral Archives see the Archives web pages on the Canterbury Catherdral site.
  • For information on the area around the Medway Towns, have a look at Medway Council's CityArk site.
  • Ordnance Survey Maps of England and Wales - Revised: Kent illustrates the parish boundaries of Kent when rural districts were still in existence and before Greater London came into being. The map publication year is 1931. An earlier map of 1900 may also be useful. The maps blow up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets. Maps in this series are now downloadable for personal use.
  • Census records for Kent are available on FamilySearch, Ancestry and FindMyPast. The first site is free; the other two are pay sites but have access to microfilmed images. Steve Archer produced a very useful round-up of the available sources, but this information may not be up to date.
  • Registration Districts in Kent for the period 1837 to the present. By drilling down through the links you can follow any parish through the registration districts to which it was attached.
  • England, Kent, Parish Registers, 1538-1911 The full database from Kent Archives Office, Maidstone, has been available online from FamilySearch since June 2016.
  • Kent had five family history societies (now only four):
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