Dewdswell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Dewdswell is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from a family once having lived in a region called Doda's well or spring. The surname Dewdswell is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came.

Early Origins of the Dewdswell family

The surname Dewdswell was first found in Gloucestershire at Dowdeswell, an ancient Saxon village that dates back to the 8th century when it was known as Gogodeswellan. By the time of the Domesday Book of 1086, it was known as Dodesuuelle. [1] The place name literally means "spring or stream of a man called Dogod," from the Old English personal name + "wella." [2]

The first record of the family was found here when William de Dowdeswelle was listed as a Knights Templar in 1185. [3] Years later, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed William de Doudeswell, Oxfordshire and Robert de Doudeswell, Gloucestershire. [4]

Early History of the Dewdswell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dewdswell research. Another 45 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1601, 1673, 1660, 1683, 1678, 1682, 1728, 1712, 1722, 1648, 1641, 1711 and 1784 are included under the topic Early Dewdswell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dewdswell Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Dewdswell has been recorded under many different variations, including Dodswell, Dodwell, Dodswall, Dodwall and others.

Early Notables of the Dewdswell family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Richard Dowdeswell (1601-1673), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1660, an active Royalist in the...
Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dewdswell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Dewdswell family to Ireland

Some of the Dewdswell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 138 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Dewdswell family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Dewdswell or a variant listed above: James Dodwell who settled in Philadelphia in 1861.



  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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