This interesting surname is as patronymic from the male Hebrew given name David, from "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. St. David, the 6th Century Bishop of Menevia, became patron saint of Wales, and the name was borne by two Kings of Scotland (David 1, 1124 - 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 surname was first recorded in the early half of the 14th Century (see below), and one John Davideson appears in "a Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds", Warwickshire (1350). In the modern idiom the surname has numerous variant spellings including Davidson, Davson, Davisson, and Davids. One George Davison married Jane Hinksley in 1599, at St. James, Clerkenwell, London. One of the earliest settlers in the New World was Alice Davison, who was recorded as living in James City, Virginia, on February 16th 1623. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Davyson, which 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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