This most interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a patronymic form of the Olde English pre 7th Century name "Dodda, Dudda", Middle English "Dodde, Dudde", plus the patronymic suffix "-son", son of. The personal name may have originated from a Germanic root "dudd", meaning "something rounded", hence it may have applied originally to a short, plump man; or the Olde English "dydrian", the hairless, a nickname for someone with closely cropped hair. Other patronymic surnames from this source include Dodson, Dotson, Dudson and Dodding as well as the surnames Dodd, Dod and Dadd. Brictricus filius Doddi is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, and Aluinus Dode appears in the same records in 1086. The surname itself first appears in the Domesday Book (see below). Other early examples in London Church Registers include the marriage of John Dudson to Elizabeth Lancaster on January 19th 1576 at St. Dunstan's in the East; the christening of Elizabeth, daughter of Gilbert Dudson, on December 13th 1618 at St. James', Clerkenwell; and the marriage of Elizabeth Dutson and Barnett Grove on June 26th 1654 at St. Bride's, Fleet Street. A Coat of Arms granted to a Dotson family at Heye in Cornwall depicts a blue bend engraved between two Cornish choughs proper on a silver shield. 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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