Last name: Davis

This distinguished surname, with no less than twenty Coats of Arms, and several notable entries in the "Dictionary of National Biography", is a patronymic form of the male given name David, itself coming from the Hebrew "Dodaveha" meaning "Beloved of Jehovah". This name was borne by the greatest of the early kings of Israel, which led to its popularity first among the Jews, and later among Christians throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. In Britain, the popularity of the personal name was increased due to the ame of St. David, 6th Century Bishop of Menevia, who became patron saint of Wales, and also as a result of its having been borne by two kings of Scotland: David 1, who reigned from 1124 to 1153, and David 11 (1329 - 1371). One David clericus, recorded in Documents relating to the Danelaw, Lincolnshire, dated 1150, is one of the earliest recorded bearers of the personal name in England. The patronymic first emerges in the early 14th Century (see below), and in 1402, a Richard Davys was entered in the Register of the Freemen of the City of York. Richard Barrett Davis (1782 - 1852) was animal painter to William 1V, and Sir John Francis Davis, chief superintendent of British trade in China, was made K.C.B. in 1854. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is a silver shield with a chevron pean, in base a black lion rampant, a chief indented of the last, and a canton ermines. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Dauisse, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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On a cross-country flight with a couple of chaps from England, I was informed for the first time that my name was of Welsh origin. That's when the folklore of my family started to make sense.

Ana Aponte
What country was the first to use the surname of Davis. The information you gave is great. I have a great niece who is working on the family tree for Davis. She says she can go back as far as William Wallace and Longshank. Can anyone agree or dissagree with that information. She is gathering information and then she will put it into a porfolio. I would like to know how I can piece together to take the Davis name back as far as I can. So far I have Davis's going back to the 1600's.

J davis
My name is also davis of jamaican parentage. Ancestor's are from scotland.i would like to trace my family.

Hilary Adaline Davis
Hi, my name is Hilary. I'm 15 yrs old, and my dad left me when i was really little. So using this website helped me find the deffinition of the name he left me with, thanks, guys. You were really helpful.

Jordan Davis

My family links back to Captain Cook from my dads side which is where the name Davis comes from for me. I would be very interested if anyone had anymore info on my history

Courtney Davis

I would love to know any information people have on Davis history. I'm slowly trying to figure out my family ancestry but it is quite difficult. I am a Davis in Canada

Robert davis

I'm a Davis as well guys

Shaunda Davis
Hi, My last name is Davis of course -I would love to know more about the origins of my last name in America-I'm Black/ African American

Marques Davis
I would love to know who was the very 1st Davis recorded in history. I am considered African-American but I've met people of different cultures with the same last name. So I want to know where it all started.

Kimberly Davis
The thing about names is that in many cases your last name does not mean you have blood ties to the original family. In the case of Davis's.... they were of noble lineage and so they owned lands. On these lands they would have contained Serf's. These serf's would have adopted the Davis last name because they were in service to the Davis's and so considered part of their property. The same goes to the African-American/Jamaican side. During slavery, slaves where given the last name of their Masters for ownership identification purposes. So many Davis's are not actually Davis's at all. It all depends on your link to the original family. Just a little insight.

John Davis
I know my Grandparents are Dutch or from the Netherlands. From what I have learned, The Dutch followed Portugal and Spain in establishing an overseas colonial empire starting in the 15th century. They colonized all over the Globe like South Africa, India, Caribbean, Australia, South America ect.

Madeline Davis
I'm primarily Norman-Irish, Welsh, and German, with direct ties to the Slane family, as well. So lots of viking blood. Anybody else?

Graeme daniels
My grandfathers great great great grandfather was Moses Davis his son was a convict Lewis Davis started our family line

colin davis
As far as I know many African American Slaves adopted their owners surnames as they didn't know thier original African names. Here is an explanation from another website that explains. As a Davis I don't like the idea my Surname is attributed to this inhuman part of history. I would like to think my African brothers are proud of their name as I am. Quote follows:- I don't know the numbers, but I do know why so many African Americans have the same name. Oddly, if you look at African Americans as a whole, they tend to have a smaller name "pool", meaning less variations in last names as a general population, than others, like Latinos or Italians or even regular old European Americans. The reason is that when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, and slaves were finally freed, most of them no longer had their own last names, meaning the family names they may have brought with them to the US when they were slaves. Slaves were often bought and sold without last names, and if they were given a last name, it was usually the name of the slave owner. That practice was commonly followed when slaves became free--they took the family name of the person who had owned them. Just consider that for a moment: if a plantation owner had 400 slaves when they were freed, most of them took his last name, even if they were not related to one another. That just spread his name to 400 other people. Consider that people related to one another frequently owned plantations or slaves in the same area, because they were descended from a common ancestor, and you can see how easily 1000 people could end up with the same last name at the stroke of a pen when they were freed, all in a relatively small area of land. The reason a name like Davis is so common in African Americans is because the vast majority of slave owners were people who were either original settlers or descended from original settlers in the Southern states. The majority of those settlers were either English, or from another part of Great Britain, such as Ireland, or Wales, or Scotland. There were plenty of settlers from places like Germany and Scandinavia, but they tended to settle in communities in what became the Northern States, and most of them were poor, so they didn't own slaves. Accordingly, when it was time to free the slaves, the slaves were owned by people whose ancestry is closely related to your own, rather than people named Schwartz or Christensen. That's how they came upon their names, and that's why there are so many of them with names from primarily English (or British, meaning the Commonwealth, if you prefer) sources. I hope that helps explain it for you.

P Walker
I didn't know I was being raised by a man that was not my biological dad till I was 21. I met my real dad when I was 24. I know nothing about my Davis side of the family. I would really like to know. I was told by my biological dad I was Welch. His name was EARL DAVIS. If anyone can help I would love to know my background. Thank you.

Chris Davis
I've been fortunate to trace my family back to William Davis, who left Carmarthenshire Wales in 1635 with his four (or five) brothers for Massachusetts. Prior to that, there is a trail of Davis's back to the 1100's. I would like to travel to Wales someday and see if I can locate my long lost relatives.

Doing my family tree has proven to harder than I thought. I am currently working on my mothers side and I have not been able to find anything past my Grandmother x5; Mary Davis. All I have is that she was born in 1800 in wales (most likely in Flintshire county), married Aaron Smith in 1820 in New Brunswick, Canada. I have searched high and low for any sort of records for her even with a name variant. No luck. Can anyone help?

Daniel Ray Davis
Ive traced my lineage all the way back to 1650's to a William Davis coming to this country as an Indentured Servant from England. They came to Maryland.

Terrell Davis-EL
I have proclaimed my nationality as Moorish -American. It's hard to get this information to build a foundation on the now. Our name is all over the place.

Jim Davis
Yup I am a Davis also. Ancestry DNA says Scandinavian

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