"Dowling Name Meaning
English: nickname for a stupid person, Middle English dolling, a derivative of Old English dol ‘dull’, ‘stupid’ (see Doll). Irish: variant of Dolan 1."
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names (c) 2013, Oxford University Press as used by Ancestry.
We have a choice as to whether we consult or use an original source, such as the one above, and, if we decide the source is useless, inaccurate, inappropriate or just unhelpful we can decide not to use it in future. We have no choice as to whether Ancestry actually displays this incorrect definition next to our name. This source is promoted by Ancestry who publish it on-line when a user types this name into it's 'What's in a Name' search engine, despite it's inaccurate application in this case to a name that is not 'Middle English'. This comes up in ancestry.com and ancestry.co.uk.
Ancestry have been contacted about this insulting and highly unreliable search result and Aisling, a Customer Solutions Associate, on 23 July 2018 has passed the buck to the Oxford University Press. This is the equivallent of publishing insulting and abusive language and pleading it is acceptable to leave it on-line because someone else said it. This excuse in not acceptable for website publishers who RE-PUBLISH racist, disciminatory or inciting language and I do not believe it is acceptable for this to remain a search result for Ancestry.
To illustrate my point for the staff of ANCESTRY I have looked up some of their names in an ALTERNATIVE source:
Alternative Dictionary of American Family Names (c) 2018, Chiswell Green University Press
Bell Name Meaning
Hungarian: nickname for a person who makes a lot of noise but is empty inside.
English: a person who makes a lote of noise, Middle-English bell-like. Anglo-Saxon bell, bellow, cry.
Keeley Name Meaning
Gujarati: name for a murderous person, Gudjarati Keel translates as kill, murder.
English: a person who gets thing upside-down, Middle English/Old Norse keel, on the bottom (See keel-over)
Kempski Name Meaning
English: a person who likes bondage, chains, Anglo-Saxon camp, in bodage, fettered;
English: a person always at war with themselves or other people, Anglo-Saxon cempa, war, battle. (See also Old Norse kempa, bearded, course)
Lincoln Name Meaning
Anglo-Saxon: person who does the laundry, Anglo-Saxon lin, linen and coln, river. Washerwoman, old scrubber, wet around the ears.
Murray Name Meaning
Anglo-Saxon: person who is addicted to inhailing plant material, Anglo-Saxon Murra, aromatic plant, weed, intoxicating herb.
Norris Name Meaning
English: a person who is negative but always knows better, Middle English nor, never, nil.
Noto Name Meaning
Latin: a person who cannot do anything unless its written down for them, Latin noto, note, scribe, instructed.
Panicker Name Meaning
English: a person who panics a lot, English panic, anxious, not in control.
Rivas Name Meaning
English: a person who is unstable or split-minded, inconsistent, Middle English rive, split, apart, torn.
Source: Alternative Dictionary of American Family Names (c) 2018, Chiswell Green University Press