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

Origins Available: French, Irish, Jewish, Welsh

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

The Davis surname has been found in Ireland in various 16th century records, in various parts of the country. Generally, the name and its bearers came from Britain: some may have come with the 12th century Norman invasions, most came much later in the 17th century Plantation of Ulster, when the British crown offered an opportunity for settlers to obtain land in exchange for pledging to remain protestant. Those who immigrated to Ireland were granted lands previously owned by the native Catholic Irish. However, the name has also been used as an Anglicized form of some Gaelic Irish names: in County Wexford, some of the MacDavids, a branch of the MacMurroughs took on the name Davis; some of the Gaelic Davin, have taken on the Davis name. It is derived from the personal name David, which means "darling" or "friend."


Spelling variations of this family name include: Davis, Davies, Davis, Divis and others.

First found in England and Scotland from the 12th century onward, but was particularly popular in Wales even earlier. One of the most famous bearers of this personal name in Wales was David ap Gryffydd, the last Prince of North Wales, who was executed c. 1276 by King Edward I of England. The suffix "is" or "ies" of the surname has often changed from father to son and has no modern significance. Davis comes from beautiful Wales, the mountainous land of the ancient Britons.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Davis research. Another 459 words(33 lines of text) covering the years 1073, 13 y, 1550, 1605, 1667, 1739, 1723, 1761, 1808, 1889, 1600 and 1672 are included under the topic Early Davis History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 57 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Davis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Davis Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Dolor Davis, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1634
  • Isbell Davis, aged 22, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Dorothy Davis, who arrived in Virginia in 1636
  • Christopher Davis, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1636
  • Jenkin Davis, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1637

Davis Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Faith Davis, who landed in Virginia in 1700
  • Johannah Davis, who landed in Virginia in 1702
  • Duke Davis, who landed in Virginia in 1703
  • Issabella Davis, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Geo Davis, who landed in Virginia in 1714

Davis Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Hugh Davis, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1802
  • William Davis, William Davis, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1803-1827
  • Wm Davis, who landed in America in 1805
  • James Davis, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1806
  • John Davis, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808

Davis Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • A M Davis, who arrived in Mississippi in 1906
  • Albert Henry Davis, who arrived in Colorado in 1907
  • Henry Vincent Davis, who arrived in Alabama in 1917


  • Raymond "Ray" Davis Jr. (1914-2006), American scientist who has won many awards for his scientific work, most notably the 2002 Nobel Prize in physics for detecting solar neutrinos
  • Sammy George Davis Jr. (1925-1990), well-known and prolific American singer, dancer, and actor and the only black member of Frank Sinatra's "Rat Pack." In 2001, he was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Miles Dewey Davis III (1926-1991), American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer considered one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century
  • Geena Davis (b. 1956), American actress, film producer, writer, former fashion model, and a women's Olympics archery team semi-finalist
  • Edward "Lockjaw" Davis (1921-1986), American jazz tenor saxophonist
  • Calvin Davis (b. 1972), American athlete who won the bronze medal in the men's 400 meter hurdles at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Joshua "Josh" Clark Davis (b. 1972), American swimmer who won multiple gold and silver Olympic medals at the 1996 and 2000 games
  • Dwight Filley Davis (1879-1945), 49th United States Secretary of War (1925-1929) and avid tennis enthusiast, eponym of the Davis Cup
  • Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916), American writer and journalist famous for his coverage of the Spanish-American War, the Second Boer War, and the First World War
  • Stuart Davis (1894-1964), early American modernist painter



  • From the Rhondda Valley to the Clinch River Valley and Beyond: A Genealogy of the Descendants of John Davies (also Daivis) by Billie Ruth McNamara.
  • Amos Williams Davis: Family History, Including His Ancestors and Descendants by Eunice Freese Payne.

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  1. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  3. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  4. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  7. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  8. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  10. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  11. ...

The Davis Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Davis 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 13 October 2014 at 07:40.

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