This interesting surname is of early medieval English, Welsh and Irish origin, and has three possible sources. Firstly, it is a pet form of the orginal hebrew David meaning 'the beloved one'. Introduced into England and Wales by the 12th century 'Crusaders', it rapidly grew in popularity, forming the basis of several surnames. Secondly, it can be a nickname surname derived from the (jack) daw. The (jack) daw was noted for its sleek lack colour, raucous voice, and thievish nature! Not surprisingly any of these characteristics could readily have given rise to a nickname. Lastly the surname can be an anglicization of the Gaelic (Irish) "O'Deaghaidh", a personal name of uncertain etymology. It may be composed of the elements "deagh", meaning good, and "adh", lucky or fateful. In Ireland the original name was sometimes anglicised into 'Goodwin', which seems a reasonable translation. A Coat of Arms granted to the family has the blazon of a silver field, on a red pile a chevron between three cross crosslets of the field. The Crest is an eagle with wings expanded, looking at the sun proper. Examples of early recordings include Ralph Dawe of Worcester in 1275, and Lovekin Dawes (the patronymic form) in the Hundred Rolls of Oxford in 1279. Sir William Dawes was archbishop of York in 1713, whilst Sophia Daw, also known as Dawes, 1790 - 1840, was the mistress of the Duc de Conde, and a prominent intrigeur in the court of King Charles X of France. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Dawe, which was dated 1211, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Worcestershire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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