Devis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Welsh Devis 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 Devis family
The surname Devis 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 Devis 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 Devis family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Devis 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 Devis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Devis Spelling Variations
Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. People could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Devis name over the years has been spelled Davies, Davis, Divis and others.
Early Notables of the Devis 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...
Migration of the Devis family to Ireland
Some of the Devis family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in the 19th and 20th centuries, searching for land, work, and freedom. Like the many other immigrants from the British Isles, they made a significant contribution to the development of Canada and the United States. The Welsh and their descendents added a rich cultural tradition to the newly developed towns, cities, and villages. An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Devis:
Devis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
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:
Devis Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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.