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

Origins Available: French, Welsh

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

The surname Davy is from the unique Celtic culture that developed in Wales. This particular surname is from the personal name David, which means darling or friend. This name was common 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.

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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 Davy have included Davy, Davey, Davie, Daivey, Daivy, Daivie, Dayvy, Dayvie, Dayvey, Devy, Devie and many more.

First found in Cornwall, although they are thought to have been in Wales from very ancient times; long before the Norman Conquest in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Davy research. Another 309 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1641, 1621, 1622, 1846, 1588, 1654, 1621, 1622, 1629, 1630, 1612, 1678, 1661, 1670, 1671, 1660, 1692, 1679, 1685, 1662, 1707, 1640, 1710 and 1684 are included under the topic Early Davy History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 189 words(14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Davy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Davy family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 69 words(5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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North America in the 1800s and 1900s saw the arrival of many Welsh people hoping to share in the wealth of land, work, and freedom that they felt North America held. Those who made the journey often attained those expectations, but only through an enormous amount of hard work, perseverance, and often a bout of good luck. These immigrants helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and culture of both Canada and the United States. Discovered in the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Davy:

Davy Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Richard Davy settled in Virginia in 1639
  • Elizabeth Davy, who landed in Maryland in 1649
  • Daniel Davy, who arrived in New England in 1652
  • Humphrey Davy, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1665
  • Thomas Davy, who landed in Maryland in 1670


Davy Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • John Davy, who arrived in America in 1760-1763

Davy Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Edward Davy, who landed in New York in 1824
  • William Davy, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

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  • John Madison Davy (1835-1909), American politician, U.S. Representative from New York
  • George Mark Davy, Artist
  • Sir Humphry Davy FRS, MRIA (1778-1829), British chemist and physicist, inventor of the Davy lamp, eponym of the Davy Medal
  • Edmund Davy (1785-1857), British chemist & academic
  • Edward Davy (1806-1885), British physician & researcher
  • John Davy FRS (1790-1868), British physician & amateur chemist, brother of Humphry Davy
  • John Davy (b. 1974), Irish cricket player


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  1. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  8. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  9. Thirsk, Joan ed. Et. Al. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Davy Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Davy 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 27 December 2013 at 04:03.

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