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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: French, Welsh

Where did the Welsh Dodds family come from? What is the Welsh Dodds family crest and coat of arms? When did the Dodds family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Dodds family history?

The surname Dodds is a Welsh name of old Celtic origin. The surname is from one of the various related Old English personal names Dodd, Dodda, Dudd, or Dudda, which were all in common use until the 14th century. The name Dodds may also be a nickname surname derived from the Germanic root "dudd" or "dodd," which means something rounded; thus, it would have been used to denote a round, lumpish person, or a stupid person. The surname Dodds may also be derived from the Old English word "dydrian," which means deceiver or rascal, or from the word "dod," which means to make bare or to cut off. The application of the name Dodds is obvious in the former case, while the nickname would denote a bald person in the latter case.


Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Dodds have included Dodd, Dod, Dot, Dodds, Dods and others.

First found in Cheshire, at Edge, a civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire West and Chester. George Ormerod (1785-1873) wrote the following about the family: "About the time of Henry II., Hova, son of Cadwgan Dot, married the daughter and heiress of the Lord of Edge, with whom he had the fourth of that manor. It is probable that the Lord of Edge was son of Edwin, who before the Conquest was sole proprietor of eight manors; we may call him a Saxon thane. It appears by Domesday that Dot was the Saxon lord of sixteen manors, from which all of which he was ejected; we may presume he was identical with Cadwgan Dot."


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dodds research. Another 227 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1671, 1743, 1693, 1719, 1717, 1719, 1729 and 1777 are included under the topic Early Dodds History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 117 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dodds Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Dodds family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 135 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


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 Dodds:

Dodds Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Dodds, who arrived in Virginia in 1607
  • Thomas Dodds, who landed in Maryland in 1674
  • John Dodds settled in Barbados in 1685

Dodds Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Elizabeth Dodds settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina 1767
  • William Dodds, aged 29, landed in New York in 1775
  • William Dodds arrived in New York in 1775
  • David Dodds, who arrived in America in 1795

Dodds Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • James Dodds, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Robert Dodds, who landed in Maryland in 1810
  • Charles Dodds, who landed in Maryland in 1826
  • Walter Dodds, aged 22, arrived in New York, NY in 1893

Dodds Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • George Dodds, Scottish convict from Edinburgh, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Alexander Dodds, aged 22, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Palmyra" in 1839
  • Martha Dodds, aged 28, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Norman"

Dodds Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Dodds, aged 39, a cabinet maker, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • Mary Dodds, aged 40, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • James Dodds, aged 20, a cabinet maker, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • Mary Ann Dodds, aged 16, a servant, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • William Dodds, aged 14, a labourer, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841


  • Warren Baby Dodds (1898-1959), American jazz musician
  • John M. Dodds (1892-1940), American jazz clarinetist
  • Mr. George Wolfendale Dodds (d. 1941), British Engine Room Artificer 4th Class, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died during the sinking
  • Mr. Richard Dodds (1915-1941), Australian Leading Aircraftsman from Vaucluse, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking
  • Mr. Henry Watson Dodds (d. 1912), aged 27, English Junior Assistant 4th Engineer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Joseph "Joe" Dodds (1887-1965), Scottish international footballer
  • Richard David Allan Dodds OBE (1959-1988), British gold and bronze medalist field hockey player, captain of the gold medal-winning Great Britain team at the 1988 Summer Olympics
  • Ephraim "Jock" Dodds (1915-2007), Scottish professional footballer
  • David Dodds (b. 1958), former Scottish footballer
  • Louis Bartholomew Dodds (b. 1986), English footballer



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: In copia cautus
Motto Translation: Careful amid plenty.


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  1. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  3. Davies, R. R. The Age of Conquest: Wales, 1063-1415. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print.
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  6. Morgan, T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985. Print.
  7. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  8. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  11. ...

The Dodds Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dodds 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 11 November 2015 at 15:31.

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