This unusual surname, with variant spellings Dodman, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal byname "Dodda" or "Dudda", from a Germanic root "dudd" meaning "rotund", plus the Olde English "mann" (Old High German "man"), a man, and was originally given either as an occupational name to a servant of one called Dud(d), or as a descriptive nickname to a plump or rotund person. The suffix "man" when conjoined with the master's personal name meant "servant of", and when attached to a nickname had augmentative force. The name "Dod" was recorded as early as 779 in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and appeared as "Doddi" in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Worcestershire. The recording "Goduine filius (son of) Dudeman" in the Domesday Book of Kent suggests that Dudman was initially used as a personal name. One Simon Dodeman or Dudeman was noted in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield, Yorkshire, in 1296, and on December 1st 1560, Fraunc Dudman was christened in St. Stephan's, Coleman Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Dudeman, which was dated circa 1179, in "Records of St. Bartholomew's Hospital", London, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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