Recorded in many forms as shown below, this is an English surname. In origin it is pre 7th century, and derives from the Anglo-Saxon personal byname "Dudda", meaning rounded. As such it was probably used as an endearment baptismal name for a plump, rounded, baby. The name is ancient with examples such Aelfweard Dudd appearing in the Old English Byname Register for Hampshire, in the year 1030, and Aluric Dod in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 for Dorset. Further early patronymic forms include Aeluric Doddes, in the feudal documents of the abbey of Bury St.Edmunds, Suffolk, in 1147, whilst Magota Dodson is recorded in the Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire in 1379. In the modern idiom the name spellings include Dodd, Dods, Dodds, Dadd, Dadds, Dodson, Dudson, Dodding and Dotson, the last mentioned being particularly well recorded in Cornwall. An early settler in the New World Colonies was Edward Dodson, aged 21 years, who sailed from London on the ship "John", bound for St. Christophers, Barbados, in October 1635. A coat of arms granted to a family of the name is on a black shield a gold chevron between three gold catharine wheels, the crest being the head of Janus couped at the neck proper. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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