Divis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Welsh Divis 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 Divis family
The surname Divis 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 Divis 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 Divis family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Divis research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1550, 1605, 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 Divis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Divis Spelling Variations
There are relatively few surnames native to Wales, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. Early variations of Welsh surnames can be explained by the fact that very few people in the early Middle Ages were literate. Priests and the few other literate people were responsible for recording names in official documents. And because most people could not specific how to properly record their names it was up to the individual recorder of that time to determine how a spoken name should be recorded. Variations due to the imprecise or improper recording of a name continued later in history when names originally composed in the Brythonic Celtic, language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, were transliterated into English. Welsh names that were documented in English often changed dramatically since the native language of Wales, which was highly inflected, did not copy well. Occasionally, however, spelling variations were carried out according to an individual's specific design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by minor variations. The spelling variations of the name Divis have included Davies, Davis, Divis and others.
Early Notables of the Divis 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; 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; Joseph Davis, (fl. 1692-1715), a Welsh captain in the Hudson's Bay Company who was dismissed...
Another 83 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Divis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Divis family to Ireland
Some of the Divis family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 200 words (14 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 Divis family
North America in the 1800s and 1900s saw the arrival of many Welsh people hoping to share in the wealth of land, work, and freedom that they felt North America held. Those who made the journey often attained those expectations, but only through an enormous amount of hard work, perseverance, and often a bout of good luck. These immigrants helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and culture of both Canada and the United States. Discovered in the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Divis: Arthur Davies and Dorothy Davies, who both settled in Virginia in 1623; as did Christopher and Emanuel Davies in 1635; Danielle Davies, who came to Barbados in 1635.
Related Stories +
The Divis 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.