Last name: Dotson

This unusual surname is a variant form of Dodson, itself a patronymic of the Middle English given name "Dodde, Dudde", from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal byname "Dodda, Dudda", ultimately from a Germanic root "dudd, dodd", "something rounded", used to denote a short, rotund man, or possibly a bald one, from "dod", to ake bare, cut off. One Aelfweard Dudd appears in the Old English Byname Register for Hampshire, circa 1030, and an Aluric Dod in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Dorset. The patronymic has the unusual distinction of also being first recorded in Domesday (see below). Further early patronymic forms include: Aeluric Doddes, noted in Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, and Magota Dodson, entered in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire. In the modern idiom the patronymic takes seven variant forms: Dods, Dodds, Dadds, Dodson, Dudson, Dodding and Dotson, the last mentioned being particularly well recorded in Cornwall. In March 1581, William Dotson, an infant, was christened at Mawgan in Meneage, Cornwall. A Coat of Arms granted to the Dotson family of Heye, Cornwall, is a silver shield with a bend engrailed azure between two Cornish choughs proper, the Crest being a dexter arm in armour proper, garnished gold, holding a scourge with four lashes sable, handle garnished, and the lashed ended with spur-rowels gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aluinus Dodeson, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Hertfordshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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