Recorded in the spellings of Davis, Davies, Davie, Davy, and others, this is a patronymic surname of Hebrew origins, and much associated with Wales. It means 'the son of David', from the Hebrew male given name meaning "beloved". The name is not recorded in any part of Britain before the Norman Conquest of 1066, and is regarded as being a 'Crusader' introduction. In the 12th century all the parts of Christendom joined in expeditions to free the Holy Land from the infidel. Although all the crusades were militarily unsuccessful, and have remained so to this day, the returning soldiers 'adopted' certain biblical and Greek names, of which David was one, and gave them to their children, particularly their sons. Amongst the very earliest recordings of the given name predating the surnames is that of 'Dauid clericus', (David, the clerk), in the rolls of the county of Lincoln for the year 1150, whilst Richard Davy appears in the Subsidy rolls of Worcester for the year 1275. Further examples include Thomas Dayson in the 1327 Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire, and Richard Davys is listed in the Register of the Freemen of the City of York for the year 1402. An interesting bearer of the name was Sir Thomas Davies (1631 - 1680), a bookseller, who became master of the Stationer's Guild in 1668 and was Lord Mayor of London in 1666, during the Great Fire of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Dauisse, which was dated 1327, in the Subsidy Rolls of the county of Cambridgeshire, 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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