Recorded in several spellings including Dadswell, Dodswell, and Dodwell, this is an English locational surname. It originates from the village of Dodwell, near Stratford upon Avon, in the county of Warwickshire. The origin of the name is probably 7th century Olde English, from the personal name "Dodda", a popular name of the period, and "waella", a spring. The place name is first recorded in the year 1312 as Dodwell, making it almost unique in that it has retained its original spelling over seven centuries. This is not so with the surname, although unlike many English locational names, its form has not greatly varied from the original. Locational surnames were given to people after they left their original homes, and moved elsewhere, usually in search of work. It was, and remains, the easiest form of identification to call people by the name from whence they came. Erractic spelling and "thick" local accents usually lead to the development of variant forms. One of the most common being to insert an "s" into a name to ease pronunciation.In this case early examples of the surname taken from authentic charters and registers include Mary Dodeswell of Barcheston, Warwickshire, recorded there on September 10th 1753, and Robert Dadswell, who married Mary Hopkins at St Lukes church, Old Street, Finsbury, London, on January 12th 1769. The earliest recording in the church registers is believed to be that of Catheren Dodwell, at the village church of Pillerton Hersey, Warwickshire, on December 27th 1606. This was during the reign of King James 1st of England, and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625.
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