This unusual surname is a variant form of Dodson, itself a patronymic of the Middle English given name "Dodde, Dudde", from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal byname "Dodda, Dudda", 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 orset. The patronymic has the unusual distinction of also being first recorded in Domesday (see below). Further early patronymic forms include: Aeluric Doddes, noted in Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, and Magota Dodson, entered in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire. In the modern idiom the patronymic takes seven variant forms: Dods, Dodds, Dadds, Dodson, Dudson, Dodding and Dotson, the last mentioned being particularly well recorded in Cornwall. An early settler in the New World Colonies was Edward Dodson, aged 21 yrs., who sailed from London on the "John", bound for St. Christophers, Barbados, in October 1635. A Coat of Arms granted to a family of the name is on a black shield a gold chevron between three gold catharine wheels, the Crest being the head of Janus couped at the neck proper. 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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