David History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The David name, which is a very unique Celtic origin, came from the rugged landscape of Wales. This Brythonic Celtic name 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.

Early Origins of the David family

The surname David was first found in Cheshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. The name is conjecturally descended from David ap Gryffydd, the last Prince of North Wales who was executed by King Edward I of England about 1276.

"St. David, is said to have been a Welsh Briton, born about the year 480, and bred up in the Christian religion. Coming to years of maturity, he became learned in all the liberal arts and sciences, and was finally constituted bishop of Menevia near Anglesea. From this place he went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and after his return was the reputed metropolitan of all the British churches." [1]

David ap Gwilym (14th cent.), the celebrated Welsh bard, was born, according to one tradition, at Bro Gynin in the parish of Llanbadarn Vawr, Cardiganshire, about 1340, and dying there about 1400, was buried in the abbey of Ystrad Flur in the same county. [2]

Early History of the David family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our David research. Another 63 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1680, 1647 and 1690 are included under the topic Early David History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

David Spelling Variations

Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name David have included David, Dafydd, Dewi, Davith and others.

Early Notables of the David family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was David ap Gryffydd, Prince of North Wales. Thomas Daffy (d. 1680), was the inventor of Daffy's 'elixir salutis,' and a clergyman, who in 1647...
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early David Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

David World Ranking

In the United States, the name David is the 873rd most popular surname with an estimated 34,818 people with that name. [3] However, in Canada, the name David is ranked the 436th most popular surname with an estimated 10,811 people with that name. [4] And in Quebec, Canada, the name David is the 383rd popular surname. [5] France ranks David as 16th with 61,762 people. [6] Australia ranks David as 549th with 7,035 people. [7] New Zealand ranks David as 770th with 948 people. [8]

Ireland Migration of the David family to Ireland

Some of the David family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States David migration to the United States +

Many Welsh joined the great migrations to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like their Scottish and Irish neighbors, many Welsh families left their homeland hoping to find hope and prosperity in a land that the English did not exercise a tight rule over. Those Welsh immigrants that successfully traveled to North America went on to make significant contributions to the rapid development of both Canada and the United States in terms of the settling of land and the establishment of industry. They also added to the rich cultural heritage of both countries. An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name David:

David Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Roger David, who landed in Virginia in 1622 [9]
  • Mr. George David, (b. 1613), aged 22, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Constance" arriving in Virginia in 1635 [10]
  • John David, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Jon David, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [9]
  • Howell David, who landed in Virginia in 1637 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
David Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Richard David, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1701 [9]
  • James David, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1701 [9]
  • Henry David, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1701-1703 [9]
  • Jennet David, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1701 [9]
  • Elizabeth David, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1701-1703 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
David Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas David, who arrived in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1802 [9]
  • Jacob David, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1802 [9]
  • Peter Oliver David, who arrived in New York in 1806 [9]
  • John David, aged 36, who landed in New York in 1812 [9]
  • George David, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada David migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

David Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Frs David, who landed in Canada in 1632-1760
  • Mr. René David, (b. 1910), aged 32, French settler travelling to Canada for work arriving on 7th April 1642 [11]
  • Claude David was married in 1649 in Quebec
  • Michel David, son of Claude and Suzanne, who married Françoise Raclos, daughter of Idebon and Marie, in Quebec on 2nd December 1671 [12]
  • Mr. René David, French settler travelling to Canada for work arriving on 13th March 1679 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
David Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Jean David, son of Michel and Françoise, who married Marie-Anne Deshaies-Saint-Cyr, daughter of Pierre and Marguerite, in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade on 15th November 1713 [12]
  • Jacques David, son of Paul and Marie, who married Marie-Louise Normandin, daughter of Laurent and Marie-Anne, in Quebec on 17th September 1715 [12]
  • Jacques David, son of Jacques and Catherine, who married Madeleine Dagenais, daughter of Pierre and Marie, in Montreal, Quebec on 22nd June 1716 [12]
  • Joseph David, son of Jacques and Catherine, who married Marie Moneau, daughter of Michel-Jean and Marie, in Boucherville, Quebec on 7th January 1717 [12]
  • René David, son of Michel and Françoise, who married Marie-Josephte Quay, daughter of Louis and Marthe, in Verchères, Quebec on 24th January 1719 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
David Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Heinrich David, who landed in Canada in 1800

Australia David migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

David Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Mr. David Audsley, English convict who was convicted in York, Yorkshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Barwell" in September 1797, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • Mr. David Gardner, English convict who was convicted in Ely (Isle of Ely), Cambridgeshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Barwell" in September 1797, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • Mr. David Sherburn, English convict who was convicted in York, Yorkshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Barwell" in September 1797, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
David Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Jeremiah David, British convict who was convicted in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Wales for life, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, the settlement was listed as abandoned and most of the convicts transported to Tasmania on the "Queen" in 1804 [14]
  • Miss Martha Daniel David, Welsh convict who was convicted in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Wales for life for larceny, transported aboard the "Experiment" on 4th December 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, she died in 1852 [15]
  • Mr. David James, English convict who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for life, transported aboard the "Baring" in December 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [16]
  • Mr. David Warden, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in December 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [16]
  • Mr. David Wilcox, (Clayton), English convict who was convicted in West Riding, Yorkshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in December 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [16]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand David migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

David Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • M. David, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Queen of the Deep" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th June 1854 [17]
  • Mr. George David, (b. 1832), aged 30, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1862 [18]
  • Mrs. Matilda David, (b. 1832), aged 30, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1862 [18]
  • Samuel N. David, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ernestina" in 1865
  • Mr. Constant V David, (b. 1854), aged 20, French farm labourer from France travelling from London aboard the ship "Tweed" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 4th September 1874 [17]

West Indies David migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [19]
David Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Lewes David, aged 28, who landed in Barbados in 1635 [9]
  • Mr. Lewes David, (b. 1607), aged 28, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Alexander" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [20]

Contemporary Notables of the name David (post 1700) +

  • Harold Lane "Hal" David (1921-2012), American lyricist, probably best known for his hits "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head", "This Guy's in Love with You" and "I'll Never Fall in Love Again"
  • Lieutenant Albert Leroy David (1902-1945), American Naval Officer who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944 [21]
  • John Fisher of David, American politician, Postmaster at Westminster, Maryland, 1817-20 [22]
  • Mr. Edward David, Welsh coal miner working in Tynewydd coal mine in Wales on 11th April 1877, he was awarded the Albert Medal for lifesaving
  • Lukas Florian David (1934-2021), Austrian classical violinist
  • Elizabeth David (1913-1992), née Gwynne, a British cookery writer, actress, known for her A Book of Mediterranean Food (1950), Spices, Salt and Aromatics in the English Kitchen (1970), English Bread and Yeast Cookery (1977) and for her many articles in The Sunday Times
  • Wilfried David (1946-2015), Belgian professional road bicycle racer
  • Jean Antoine David, French Brigadier General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 [23]
  • Joe David, Nuu-Chah-Nulth, born in Apitsat, in British Columbia, in 1946, a member of the Clayquot Band, is a leading figure in Northwest Coast Indian Art
  • Paul David (b. 1919), Cardiologist of international reputation and founder of the Institute of Cardiology in Montreal (1954)
  • ... (Another 9 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Flight 191
  • E David, American passenger from San Francisco, California, USA, who flew aboard American Airlines Flight 191 and died in the crash [24]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Albert  David (1856-1917), Canadian resident from Tufts Cove, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [25]
HMS Prince of Wales


The David Motto +

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: Pax et copia
Motto Translation: Peace and plenty.


  1. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  5. ^ https://statistique.quebec.ca/fr/document/noms-de-famille-au-quebec/tableau/les-1-000-premiers-noms-de-famille-selon-le-rang-quebec
  6. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  7. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  8. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  9. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  10. ^ Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 5th 2021, retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  11. ^ Debien, Gabriel. Liste Des Engagés Pour Le Canada Au XVIIe Siècle. Vol. 6, Laval University, 1952. (Retreived 24th May 2018). Retrieved from https://lebloguedeguyperron.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/130-liste-des-contrats-dengagement-pour-la-nouvelle-france-releves-a-la-rochelle-entre-1634-et-1679/
  12. ^ Internoscia, Arthur E., and Claire Chevrier. Dictionnaire National des Canadiens Français 1608-1760. Vol. 1, Institut Drouin, 1958.
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barwell
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 22nd March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel-and-experiment
  16. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  17. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  18. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  19. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  20. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 28th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  21. ^ Albert David. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Albert David. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_David
  22. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 1) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  23. ^ Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, February 26) Jean David. Retrieved from http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/c_frenchgenerals.html
  24. ^ Flight 191's Victims - latimes. (Retrieved 2014, April 16) . Retrieved from http://articles.latimes.com/1985-08-04/news/mn-4349_1_fort-lauderdale-area
  25. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  26. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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