This interesting Anglo-Scottish surname is a patronymic from the male Hebrew given name David. This crusader name meaning beloved of god was borne by the greatest of the early Kings of Israel, which led to its popularity first among Jews and later among the Christians throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. St. David, the 6th Century Bishop of Menevia, became patron saint of Wales, and the name was borne by two Kings of Scotland (David 1st, who reigned from 1124 to 1153, and David 11, who reigned from 1329 to 1371). 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 surname was first recorded in the early half of the 14th Century (see below), whilst John Davideson appears in "a descriptive catalogue of Ancient Deeds", for the county of Warwickshire in 1350. In the modern idiom the surname has numerous variant spellings including Davison, Davson, Davisson, and Davids. William Davidson, one of the early settlers in the New World, was granted a special licence to "dig for all mines of gold and other metals in Jamaica, for two years" in March 1674, by King Charles11nd of England. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Davyson. This was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire, 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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