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Origins Available: French, Irish, Jewish, Welsh


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."

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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.

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


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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 and printed products wherever possible.

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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.

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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
  • 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 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 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
  • William 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
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Davis Settlers in 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

Davis Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Charles Davis, who arrived in Newfoundland in 1713
  • 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
  • ...

Davis Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Walter R Davis, who landed in Canada in 1831
  • Martha Davis, aged 20, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833
  • John Davis, aged 20, a farmer, 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, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Highlander" in 1834
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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

Davis Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Davis, English convict from Dorset, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • William Davis, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • George Davis, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • David Davis, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Davis, English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
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Davis Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Charles O Davis landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1831
  • T Davis landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1837
  • James Davis landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • James Davis landed in Otakou, Otago, New Zealand in 1840
  • John Davis landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Cuba
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Davis Settlers in New Zealand in the 20th Century

  • Arthur Davis, aged 29, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "S. S. Waimana" in 1926
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  • Jackson Beauregard Davis Sr., (1918-2016), American lawyer and politician, Louisiana State Senator for Caddo and Bossier parishes (1956-1980)
  • John Burton "Jack" Davis Jr. (1924-2016), American cartoonist and illustrator, one of the founding cartoonists for Mad in 1952
  • Charles Davis (1933-2016), American jazz saxophonist and composer
  • Dennis Davis (d. 2016), American drummer and session musician best known for his work with David Bowie
  • James Z. Davis (1943-2016), American jurist on the Utah Court of Appeals (1993-2015)
  • Howard Edward Davis Jr. (1956-2015), American two-time gold medalist amateur and professional boxer
  • Richard E. Davis (1926-2015), American businessman child psychiatrist, instructor and author, inventor of KC Masterpiece barbecue sauce
  • Viola Davis (b. 1965), American Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominated, Primetime Emmy Award winning actress and producer, the first African-American woman to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
  • Roger H. Davis (1923-2015), American talent agent for Clint Eastwood, Elvis Presley and Warren Beatty
  • Ann Bradford Davis (1926-2014), American two-time Emmy Award winning television actress, best known for her role as Alice Nelson, the housekeeper in The Brady Bunch series (1969-1974) and her role in The Bob Cummings Show (1955-1959)
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Davis Historic Events



Arrow Air Flight 1285

  • Mr. James A Davis (b. 1956), American Sergeant from Knoxville, Tennessee, USA who died in the crash of Arrow Air Flight 1285 on December 12, 1985 in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada
  • Mr. Thomas E Davis (b. 1957), American Staff Sergeant from Woodbury, New Jersey, USA who died in the crash of Arrow Air Flight 1285 on December 12, 1985 in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada
  • Mr. Jimmy Dean Davis (b. 1962), American Specialist 4th Class from Aliceville, Alabama, USA who died in the crash of Arrow Air Flight 1285 on December 12, 1985 in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada

Empress of Ireland

  • Mr. John Davis, British Fireman from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Mr. Peter Davis, British Fireman from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking on May 29th 1914

Flight 191

  • Mrs. Pat Davis, American passenger from Ashville, North Carolina, USA, who flew aboard American Airlines Flight 191 and died in the crash on May 25, 1979
  • Mrs. Mary Davis, American passenger from Chicago, Illinois, USA, who flew aboard American Airlines Flight 191 and died in the crash on May 25, 1979

Halifax Explosion

  • Mrs. Helena Mary  Davis (1877-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917 but later died due to injuries
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Ellen  Davis (1888-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Mr. Charles W.  Davis (1903-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

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 on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking
  • Mr. Thomas Edgar Davis (1919-1941), Australian Lieutenant from Geralton, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking

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 on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Herbert A Davis (b. 1902), English Marine serving for the Royal Marine from Alverstoke, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Gordon E Davis (b. 1918), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Leicester, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. Thomas A G Davis, British Petty Officer, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Sidney John Davis, British Marine, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking, was listed as missing and presumed killed during the evacuation of Singapore 1942
  • Mr. P F Davis, British Able Seaman, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. Charles Davis, British Leading Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking

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

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
  • 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

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
  • 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
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  • 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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Citations



    Other References

    1. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
    2. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
    3. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
    4. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
    5. 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).
    6. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
    7. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
    8. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    9. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
    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 26 August 2016 at 13:30.

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