This ancient surname is a patronymic form of the Olde English pre 7th Century personal byname "Dodda, Dudda" (Middle English "Dodde, Dudde"), ultimately from a Germanic root "dudd, dodd", "something rounded", used to denote a short, rotund man, or possibly a bald one, from "dod", to make bare, cut off. One Aelfweard Dudd appears in the Old English Byname Register for Hampshire, circa 1030, and an Aluric Dod in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Dorset. The patronymic also has the unusual distinction of also being first recorded in Domesday (see below). Further early patronymic forms include: Aeluric Dodedes, noted in Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmund's, Suffolk, and Magota Dodson, entered in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire. In the modern idiom the name is variously spelt: Dods, Dodds, Dodson, Doodson, Dudson, Dotson and Dootson. On August 30th 1573, Elline, daughter of Thomas Doodson, was christened at Manchester Cathedral, Lancashire, and in 1627, one John Doodson, of Kearsley, Lancashire, was entered in Wills Records held at Chester. An Isabella Doodson, of Farnworth, was entered in the same records in 1634. A Coat of Arms granted to the family circa 1625 is a silver shield with a red fess nebule between three black fleurs-de-lis. The three leaves of the fleur-de-lis represent respectively Faith, Wisdom and Valour. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aluinus Dodeson, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Hertfordshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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