This very unusual and ancient surname, apparently has its origins in the medieval English period. It would seem to be a patronymic (son of Dodd) or diminutive (Little Dodd) from the popular personal name 'Dodde' or 'Dudde', derived from the pre 9th Century 'Dodda or Dudda'. The personal name(s) were in widespread popular use in England until the 14th Century, and as such are survivors of the Anglo-Saxon period. Most names of 'Saxon' origins 'disappeared' for political reasons, following the successful 1066 Norman Invasion. Examples of original recordings, which pre-date surnames, appear in the 1086 Domesday Book for Worcester as 'Brictrious filius Doddi', (Brictrious, son of Dodd) and 'Balterus filius Dudde', (Balterus son of Dudd). Early examples of the (patronymic) surname recordings include John Le Doudel and William Dudel, both recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex for the year 1296, whilst Richard Dodell is recorded as being a witness at the Essex Assize Court, Colchester, in 1310. Found today in the spellings of Duddle, Dodell, Duddell, and Dodle, the meaning is uncertain. It is thought to be from a Germanic root word 'dudd', meaning 'rounded', and hence perhaps a nickname for a stout person or someone with a round or close-cropped head. The coat of arms most associated with the name has the blazon of a silver field, charged with a red fesse between two black wavy cotises . The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Simon Dodul, which was dated 1275, in the 'Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire', during the reign of King Edward 1, known as 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. 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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