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.