This unusual surname is a patronymic form of the male given name David, 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. St. David, the 6th Century Bishop of Minerva, became patron saint of Wales, and the names was borne by two kings of Scotland: David 1 who reigned from 1124 to 1153, and David 11 (1329 - 1371). One David clericus, noted in Documents relating to the Danelaw, Lincolnshire, dated 1150, is one of the earliest recorded bearers of the personal name in England. Early examples of the surname include: Thomas Davit (Norfolk, 1275); Robert David (Leicestershire, 1276) and John Davisse (Cambridgeshire, 1327). In the modern idiom the patronymic forms of the name range from Davids, Davidge, Davage and Davi(e)s to Davys, Dav(id)son and Davis(s)on. On April 6th 1698, Charles, son of Edmond Davage, was christened at St. Michael Bassishaw, London, and on February 11th 1720 the christening of William Davage took place in Cirencester, Gloucestershire. The family Coat of Arms is a red shield, with three silver crosses pattee on a silver fesse wavy between three silver lions passant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas Davidge, which was dated May 8th 1586, marriage to Dorothie Evans at St. James', Clerkenwell, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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