Davis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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."

Early Origins of the Davis family

The surname Davis was 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.

Early History of the Davis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Davis research. Another 230 words (16 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Davis Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Davis family (pre 1700)

Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Davis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Davis migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Davis Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Dolor Davis, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1634 [1]
  • Dolor Davis, who landed in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1634 [1]
  • Isbell Davis, aged 22, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [1]
  • Dorothy Davis, who arrived in Virginia in 1636 [1]
  • Christopher Davis, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1636 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Davis Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Faith Davis, who landed in Virginia in 1700 [1]
  • Henry Davis, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1701-1703 [1]
  • Hen Davis, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [1]
  • Edward Davis, who landed in North Carolina in 1701 [1]
  • Edward Davis, who arrived in North Carolina in 1701 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Davis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hugh Davis, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1802 [1]
  • William Davis, William Davis, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1803-1827 [1]
  • Hugh Davis, who arrived in New York, NY in 1804 [1]
  • William Davis, who landed in America in 1805 [1]
  • James Davis, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1806 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Davis Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • A M Davis, who arrived in Mississippi in 1906 [1]
  • Albert Henry Davis, who arrived in Colorado in 1907 [1]
  • Henry Vincent Davis, who arrived in Alabama in 1917 [1]

Canada Davis migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Davis Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Charles Davis, who arrived in Newfoundland in 1713 [2]
  • Folk Davis, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Greenway Davis, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • James Davis, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • John Davis, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Davis Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Walter R Davis, who landed in Canada in 1831
  • Martha Davis, aged 20, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833
  • John Davis, aged 20, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Edward Reid" in 1833
  • James Davis, who landed in Canada in 1833
  • Andrew Davis, aged 24, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Highlander" in 1834
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Davis Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Mrs. Davis, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907
  • J B Davis, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Australia Davis migration to Australia +

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

Davis Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Davis, British convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, 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 [3]
  • Mr. John Davis, British convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, 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 [3]
  • John Davis, English convict from Dorset, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • William Davis, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Miss Mary Davis, English convict who was convicted in Kent, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Canada" in March 1810, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Davis 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:

Davis Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Charles O Davis, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1831
  • Mr. David Davis, Cornish settler travelling from Launceston, UK aboard the ship "Brazil Packet" arriving in Hokianga, North Island, New Zealand in 1836 [6]
  • T Davis, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1837
  • James Davis, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • James Davis, who landed in Otakou, Otago, New Zealand in 1840
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Davis Settlers in New Zealand in the 20th Century
  • Arthur Davis, aged 29, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "S. S. Waimana" in 1926

Contemporary Notables of the name Davis (post 1700) +

  • David Brion Davis (1927-2018), American authority on slavery and abolition in the Western world and is the Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University, he was awarded the 1967 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
  • Ralph E. Davis Jr. (1938-2021), American professional basketball player who played two seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA)
  • John Davis (1954-2021), American backup singer for Milli Vanilli and The Real Milli Vanilli
  • Michael Leonard "Mike" Davis (1956-2021), American professional football player who was a safety in the National Football League
  • Bill C. Davis (1952-2021), American playwright and actor, best known for his 1980 play Mass Appeal
  • Peter Graffam Davis (1936-2021), American opera and classical music critic who wrote for the magazine New York for 25 years and later for The New York Times, Musical America, and Opera News
  • Rennard Cordon Davis (1940-2021), American anti-war activist, one of the Chicago Seven defendants
  • Walter Francis "Buddy" Davis (1931-2020), American gold medalist in the high jump at the 1952 Olympics
  • Titus Davis (1993-2020), American professional football wide receiver who died at the age 27 from renal medullary carcinoma, a rare kidney cancer
  • Morris Mac Davis (1942-2020), American country music singer, songwriter, and actor, from Lubbock, Texas;
  • ... (Another 62 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. James A Davis (b. 1956), American Sergeant from Knoxville, Tennessee, USA who died in the crash [7]
  • Mr. Thomas E Davis (b. 1957), American Staff Sergeant from Woodbury, New Jersey, USA who died in the crash [7]
  • Mr. Jimmy Dean Davis (b. 1962), American Specialist 4th Class from Aliceville, Alabama, USA who died in the crash [7]
Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. John Davis, British Fireman from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking [8]
  • Mr. Peter Davis, British Fireman from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking [8]
Flight 191
  • Mrs. Pat Davis, American passenger from Ashville, North Carolina, USA, who flew aboard American Airlines Flight 191 and died in the crash [9]
  • Mrs. Mary Davis, American passenger from Chicago, Illinois, USA, who flew aboard American Airlines Flight 191 and died in the crash [9]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Helena Mary  Davis (1877-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the explosion but later died due to injuries [10]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Ellen  Davis (1888-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [10]
  • Mr. Charles W.  Davis (1903-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [10]
HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. Stanley Roy Davis (1918-1941), Australian Leading Seaman from Hobart, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [11]
  • Mr. Thomas Edgar Davis (1919-1941), Australian Lieutenant from Geralton, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [11]
HMS Dorsetshire
  • Ilted Charles John Davis (d. 1945), British Engine Room Artificer 4th Class aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [12]
  • Harold Victor Davis (d. 1945), British Stoker 1st Class aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [12]
  • Arthur Edward Miles Davis (d. 1945), British Engine Room Artificer 4th Class aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [12]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Percy J Davis (b. 1915), English Stoker 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [13]
  • Mr. Herbert A Davis (b. 1902), English Marine serving for the Royal Marine from Alverstoke, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [13]
  • Mr. Gordon E Davis (b. 1918), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Leicester, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [13]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Thomas A G Davis, British Petty Officer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [14]
  • Mr. Sidney John Davis, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking, was listed as missing and presumed killed during the evacuation of Singapore 1942 [14]
  • Mr. P F Davis, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [14]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Charles Davis, British Leading Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [15]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Robert Edgar Davis (1920-1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [16]
  • Joseph Frank Davis (d. 1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [16]
  • E. Davis, British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [16]
Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie)
  • Shannon Davis (1969-1988), American Student from Shelton, Connecticut, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died [17]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mrs. Anna Davis, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Welland, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered [18]
  • Miss Emily Davis, Canadian 1st Class Passenger, Maid to the Allen family from Montréal, Quebec, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [19]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Stephen James Davis (d. 1912), aged 39, English Able Seaman from Landport, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [20]
  • Miss Mary Davis, aged 28, English Second Class passenger from London, England who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 13 [20]
SS Alcoa Puritan
  • W.S. Davis, American from Ridgeland, South Carolina, who was travelling aboard the SS Alcoa Puritan having been rescued from a prior torpedoed ship, when the SS Alcoa Purtian was torpedoed by U-boat U-507; he survived the sinking [21]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Elvin C. Davis, American Seaman First Class working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking [22]
  • Mr. Carl E. Davis, American Gunner's Mate Third Class working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking [22]
  • Mr. Myrle Clarence Davis, American Fireman Third Class from Iowa, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [22]
  • Mr. Thomas Ray Davis, American Shipfitter First Class from California, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [22]
  • Mr. Virgil Denton Davis, American Private from Missouri, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [22]
  • ... (Another 4 entries are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


Suggested Readings for the name Davis +

  • 8 "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.

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  4. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Ann voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1809 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/ann/1809
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/canada
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550
  8. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  9. ^ 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
  10. ^ 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
  11. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  12. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  13. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  14. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  15. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  16. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  17. ^ Pan Am Flight 103's victims: A list of those killed 25 years ago | syracuse.com. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/pan_am_flight_103s_victims_a_list_of_those_killed_25_years_ago.html
  18. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  19. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  20. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  21. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Alcoa_Puritan_(1941) - (Retrieved 2018, February 8th)
  22. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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