Dodds History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Dodds family

The surname Dodds was 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."

Early History of the Dodds family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dodds research. Another 114 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1671, 1743, 1550, 1630, 1549, 1645, 1549, 1683, 1754, 1665, 1672, 1743, 1672, 1652, 1716, 1652, 1664, 1693, 1719, 1717, 1719, 1729, 1777 and are included under the topic Early Dodds History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dodds Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Dodds family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Sir Anthony Dod of Edge, Commander of the English archers at the Battle of Agincourt. Henry Dod (1550?-1630?), was an English poet, of the old family of Dod, or Doddes, Cheshire. [1] John Dod (1549?-1645), was a Puritan divine, born at Shotlidge, near Malpas, Cheshire, in or about 1549, was the youngest of a family of seventeen. His parents were possessed of a moderate estate, and after he had received his early education at Westchester sent him when about fourteen to Jesus College, Cambridge, where he was elected scholar and afterwards fellow. Peirce...
Another 147 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dodds Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Dodds family to Ireland

Some of the Dodds family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 73 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Dodds migration to the United States +

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 [2]
  • Thomas Dodds, who landed in Maryland in 1674 [2]
  • John Dodds, who settled in Barbados in 1685
Dodds Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Elizabeth Dodds, who settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina 1767
  • William Dodds, aged 29, who landed in New York in 1775 [2]
  • William Dodds, who arrived in New York in 1775
  • David Dodds, who arrived in America in 1795 [2]
Dodds Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Dodds, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1804 [2]
  • Robert Dodds, who landed in Maryland in 1810 [2]
  • Charles Dodds, who landed in Maryland in 1826 [2]
  • Walter Dodds, aged 22, who arrived in New York, NY in 1893 [2]

Canada Dodds migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Dodds Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Dodds, aged 16 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Ayrshire" departing from the port of Newry, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in October 1847 [3]
  • Miss. Fanny Dodds, aged 11 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Lord Seaton" departing 12th April 1847 from Belfast, Ireland; the ship arrived on 10th June 1847 but she died on board [4]
  • Mr. Hugh Dodds, aged 4 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Lord Seaton" departing 12th April 1847 from Belfast, Ireland; the ship arrived on 10th June 1847 but he died on board [4]
  • Mr. Thomas Dodds, aged 3 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Lord Seaton" departing 12th April 1847 from Belfast, Ireland; the ship arrived on 10th June 1847 but he died on board [4]

Australia Dodds migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

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 [5]
  • Mr. John Dodds, British Convict who was convicted in North Riding, Yorkshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 5th November 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land)1836 [6]
  • Alexander Dodds, aged 22, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Palmyra" in 1839 [7]
  • Martha Dodds, aged 28, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Norman"

New Zealand Dodds 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:

Dodds Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Dodds, aged 39, a cabinet maker, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • Mary Dodds, aged 40, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • James Dodds, aged 20, a cabinet maker, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • Mary Ann Dodds, aged 16, a servant, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • William Dodds, aged 14, a labourer, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Dodds (post 1700) +

  • Warren Baby Dodds (1898-1959), American jazz musician
  • John M. Dodds (1892-1940), American jazz clarinetist
  • Francis W. Dodds, American politician, Delegate to Kentucky Secession Convention, 1861 [8]
  • Francis Henry Dodds (1858-1940), American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1892; U.S. Representative from Michigan 11th District, 1909-13; Defeated, 1912 [8]
  • Edward E. Dodds, American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Peterborough, 1897 [8]
  • E. R. Dodds, American politician, Socialist Principle Independent Candidate for Secretary of State of Oregon, 1928 [8]
  • David Dodds, American politician, Mayor of West Linn, Oregon, 2001-04 [8]
  • Mrs. Clark Dodds, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Minnesota, 1940 [8]
  • Charles F. Dodds, American politician, Mayor of Salina, Kansas, 1930-31 [8]
  • Bligh A. Dodds, American Republican politician, Chair of St. Lawrence County Republican Party, 1939-42 [8]
  • ... (Another 25 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMAS Sydney II
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. George Wolfendale Dodds, British Engine Room Artificer 4th Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [10]
RMS Titanic
  • 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 [11]


The Dodds 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: In copia cautus
Motto Translation: Careful amid plenty.


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 24)
  4. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 73)
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1826 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1826
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1835
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PALMYRA 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Palmyra.htm
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  10. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  11. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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