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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Welsh Dodd family come from? What is the Welsh Dodd family crest and coat of arms? When did the Dodd family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Dodd family history?

The surname Dodd is a Welsh name of old Celtic origin. The surname is from one of the various related Old English personal names Dodd, Dodda, Dudd, or Dudda, which were all in common use until the 14th century. The name Dodd may also be a nickname surname derived from the Germanic root "dudd" or "dodd," which means something rounded; thus, it would have been used to denote a round, lumpish person, or a stupid person. The surname Dodd may also be derived from the Old English word "dydrian," which means deceiver or rascal, or from the word "dod," which means to make bare or to cut off. The application of the name Dodd is obvious in the former case, while the nickname would denote a bald person in the latter case.

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There are relatively few surnames native to Wales, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. Early variations of Welsh surnames can be explained by the fact that very few people in the early Middle Ages were literate. Priests and the few other literate people were responsible for recording names in official documents. And because most people could not specific how to properly record their names it was up to the individual recorder of that time to determine how a spoken name should be recorded. Variations due to the imprecise or improper recording of a name continued later in history when names originally composed in the Brythonic Celtic, language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, were transliterated into English. Welsh names that were documented in English often changed dramatically since the native language of Wales, which was highly inflected, did not copy well. Occasionally, however, spelling variations were carried out according to an individual's specific design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by minor variations. The spelling variations of the name Dodd have included Dodd, Dod, Dot, Dodds, Dods and others.

First found in Cheshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dodd research. Another 227 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1671, 1743, 1693, 1719, 1717, 1719, 1729, 1777 and are included under the topic Early Dodd History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 117 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dodd Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Dodd family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 135 words(10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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During the latter half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the people of Wales journeyed to North America to find a new life. They made major contributions to the arts, industry and commerce of both Canada and the United States, and added a rich cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Dodd:

Dodd Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Geo Dodd, aged 17, arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • James Dodd, aged 16, arrived in America in 1635
  • Jon Dodd, who arrived in Virginia in 1642
  • Tho Dodd, who landed in Virginia in 1642
  • Peter Dodd, who landed in Maryland in 1680

Dodd Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • William Dodd, who arrived in Georgia in 1737
  • Mathew, Dodd, who arrived in America in 1760-1763
  • Richard Dodd settled in August County Virginia in 1760
  • Richard Dodd who settled in August County Virginia in 1760

Dodd Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • David Dodd, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1802
  • William H Dodd, who landed in New York in 1808
  • John Dodd, who arrived in America in 1809
  • Adam Dodd, aged 18, landed in New York in 1812
  • Anthony Dodd, aged 43, arrived in New York in 1812


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  • Sonora Smart Dodd (1882-1978), American activist and founder of Father's Day
  • Claire Dodd (1908-1973), American actress
  • Marcie Dodd (b. 1978), American stage actress and singer
  • Molly Dodd (1921-1981), American actress
  • Moses Woodruff Dodd (1813-1899), American publisher who founded what would later become Dodd, Mead and Company in New York City
  • Christopher John "Chris" Dodd (b. 1944), American lawyer, lobbyist, and Democratic Party politician
  • Robert Lee "Bobby" Dodd (1908-1988), American college football coach at Georgia Tech, inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame
  • Arthur Herbert Dodd (1891-1975), Welsh academic historian
  • Charles Harold "C.H." Dodd (1884-1973), Welsh New Testament scholar and Protestant theologian
  • Stephen Dodd (b. 1966), Welsh professional golfer

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  • The Fields Family: With Notes on Whitehall and Dodd by Ruth Fields Lewis.
  • Our Dodd Family: Ancestors and Descendants of James Dodd by Marjorie Dodd Floyd.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: In copia cautus
Motto Translation: Careful amid plenty.

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  1. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Dodd Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dodd Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 8 July 2014 at 08:16.

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