Show ContentsDavys History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Welsh Davys surname is a patronymic, meaning "son of David." Ultimately derived from the Hebrew name "David," meaning "beloved," the name became a popular given name throughout Medieval Europe due to the biblical King David of Israel. The popularity of the name was further increased in Britain due to it being the name of the Patron Saint of Wales. Little is known about Saint David, but he is thought to have been a 6th century monk and bishop. The name came to be used as a patronymic name by the Brythonic people of Wales. One of the most famous bearers of this personal name in Wales was David ap Gruffydd, the last Prince of North Wales, who was executed in 1276 by King Edward I of England.

Early Origins of the Davys family

The surname Davys was first found in Flintshire (Welsh: Sir y Fflint), a historic county, created after the defeat of the Welsh Kingdom of Gwynedd in 1284, and located in north-east Wales, where the distinguished Davys family held a family seat from very ancient times.

They were descended from Cynrig Efell, Lord of Eglwysegle, the twin son of Madog ab Maredadd, the great grandson of Bleddyn ap Cynvin, Prince of Powys, head of the honorable and worthy third Royal Tribe of Wales, who was traitorously murdered in 1073 by the men of Ystrad Tywi, after he had governed all of Wales for 13 years.

Directly descended from this line was John ap Davydd (John Davies of Gwasanau in the county of Flint).

Early History of the Davys family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Davys research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1550, 1605, 1575, 1623, 1605, 1675, 1667, 1675, 1680, 1688, 1680, 1625, 1693, 1692, 1715, 1667, 1739, 1690, 1719, 1718, 1719, 1600, 1672, 1633, 1687, 1646, 1689, 1670, 1716, 1667, 1739 and are included under the topic Early Davys History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Davys Spelling Variations

Although there are not an extremely large number Welsh surnames, there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations of those surnames. This variety of spellings began almost immediately after the acceptance of surnames within Welsh society. As time progressed, these old Brythonic names were eventually were recorded in English. This process was problematic in that many of the highly inflected sounds of the native language of Wales could not be properly captured in English. Some families, however, did decide to modify their own names to indicate a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even a patriotic affiliation. The name Davys has seen various spelling variations: Davies, Davis, Divis and others.

Early Notables of the Davys family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was John Davis (1550-1605), an English navigator who discovered the Falkland Islands and what is now known as the Davis Strait; James Davis (c. 1575-c. 1623) an English ship captain and author who was part of the expedition of the Virginia Company of Plymouth which established Popham Colony, also called "Northern Virginia"; Francis Davies (1605-1675), a Welsh clergyman, Bishop of Llandaff (1667 to 1675); Edward Davis or Davies (fl. c. 1680-1688) was an English buccaneer active in the Caribbean during the 1680's; John Davies (1625-1693), a Welsh translator and writer...
Another 98 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Davys Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Davys family to Ireland

Some of the Davys family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 201 words (14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Davys migration to the United States +

The Welsh migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Davys:

Davys Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Davys, who landed in Maryland in 1677 [1]
Davys Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Ann Davys, who landed in Virginia in 1723 [1]
Davys Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hugh Davys, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1802 [1]
  • John H Davys, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1851 [1]

New Zealand Davys 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:

Davys Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Joseph Davys, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Joseph Fletcher" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 30th September 1853 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Davys (post 1700) +

  • Owen Davys (1794-1875), British prelate, Archdeacon of Northampton from 1842 until his death
  • Michael Gwynne Douglas Davys (1922-2002), British psychiatrist who specialised in depression in children
  • Mary Davys (1674-1732), Irish novelist and playwright
  • George Davys (1780-1864), English cleric, Bishop of Peterborough, Dean of Chester, tutor to Queen Victoria
  • Arthur Davys (d. 1733), Irish Member of Parliament, representing Carrickfergus from 1713 to 1714
  • Ali Davys (b. 1970), Australian former rugby league footballer
  • Paul Davys (1670-1716), 1st Viscount Mount Cashell, Irish peer of the early eighteenth century
  • John Davys Beresford (1873-1947), English writer remembered for science fiction, horror and ghost stories

The Davys 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: Heb Dhuw heb ddym, Dhuw a digon
Motto Translation: Without God without anything, God is enough.

  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. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook