Dodson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Dodson is an ancient Anglo-Saxon surname that came from Dodd or Dodda. They were Old English personal names common in England from Lincolnshire on south. The name Dodson denotes "son of Dodd or Dodda." [1]

"Alwinus Dodesone occurs in Domesday as a tenant in chief, Hertfordshire, 142. He was doubtless of Saxon blood." [2]

Early Origins of the Dodson family

The surname Dodson was first found in Worcestershire where they held a family seat from very ancient times. Alternatively, the family could have originated in Dutson, a hamlet northeast of Launceston in Cornwall.

Early rolls include the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 which listed: Benedict Dod, Northamptonshire; Peter Dod, Oxfordshire; Richard Dod, Cambridgeshire; and William Dod, Salop (Shropshire.) [3]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 were the first to list the "Dodson" variant: Magota Dodson; Johannes Dod; William Daudson; Willelmus Daud; and Johannes Daudson. [3]

Charles Dodgson (1832-1898), the famed English writer of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and many more, better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll was born in Daresbury, Cheshire. His father, also named Charles Dodgson (c. 1722-1795) was born in Howden, Yorkshire. And his father, Christopher Dodgson (1696-1750) was born there too.

Early History of the Dodson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dodson research. Another 148 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1066 and 1379 are included under the topic Early Dodson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dodson 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. Dodson has been recorded under many different variations, including Dodson, Dodshon, Doddson, Doddshon, Doddsaun, Dodsaun, Dodsen, Dodsin, Doddsen, Doddsin, Dodsine, Doddsan and many more.

Early Notables of the Dodson family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Dodson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dodson Ranking

In the United States, the name Dodson is the 708th most popular surname with an estimated 42,279 people with that name. [4]

United States Dodson migration to the United States +

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 Dodson or a variant listed above:

Dodson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Benjamin Dodson, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Benj Dodson, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [5]
  • Gervase Dodson, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [5]
  • Anthony Dodson, who arrived in New England in 1651 [5]
  • Anne Dodson, who landed in Virginia in 1652 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dodson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Fra Dodson, who arrived in Virginia in 1705 [5]
  • Geo Dodson, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [5]
  • William Dodson, who landed in Virginia in 1719 [5]
Dodson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • C. E. Dodson, who settled in Baltimore Maryland in 1820
  • C. B. Dodson settled in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • C C Dodson, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • J Dodson, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1860 [5]

Australia Dodson migration to Australia +

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

Dodson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas A. Dodson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Spartan" in 1849 [6]
  • John Dodson, aged 28, a bricklayer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Telegraph"

New Zealand Dodson 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:

Dodson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Dodson, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1836
  • E Dodson, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1839
  • Thomas Dodson, who landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Will Watch
  • George Dodson, aged 19, a farmer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Fifeshire" in 1842 [7]
  • Ann Dodson, aged 29, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Dodson migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [8]
Dodson Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Edward Dodson, who settled in St. Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635
  • Edward Dodson, aged 21, who landed in St Christopher in 1635 [5]
  • Mr. Edward Dodson, (b. 1614), aged 21, British settler traveling aboard the ship "John" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [9]
  • George Dodson, who settled in Barbados in 1678 with his wife Elizabeth, and son George

Contemporary Notables of the name Dodson (post 1700) +

  • Sarah Paxton Ball Dodson (1847-1906), American artist, perhaps best known for her work The Signing of the Declaration of Independence, painted in 1883
  • Betty Dodson (1929-2020), American sex educator from Wichita, Kansas
  • Major Dodson, American actor known for his roles on The Walking Dead, American Horror Story and Left Behind
  • Patrick Neal "Pat" Dodson (b. 1959), American former first baseman with the Boston Red Sox from 1986 to 1988
  • Owen Vincent Dodson (1914-1983), American poet, novelist, and playwright
  • Jeff Dodson, American college head coach of the University of North Dakota baseball program
  • Mary Dodson (1932-2016), née Weaver, an American art director known for her work in television, specifically as art director for 102 of the 264 episodes of the mystery series, Murder, She Wrote, wife of Jack Dodson
  • Fitzhugh J. Dodson (1923-1993), American clinical psychologist, lecturer, educator and author who wrote several popular books including the best-selling How to Parent
  • Akeem Levar Dodson (b. 1987), American professional cricketer
  • John "Jack" Dodson (1931-1994), American television actor best remembered for the character Howard Sprague in The Andy Griffith Show and its spin-off MayBerry R.F.D
  • ... (Another 13 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Dodson 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: Virtus semper eadam
Motto Translation: Virtue is always the same.

Suggested Readings for the name Dodson +

  • The Dodson (Dotson) Family of North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia: A History and Genealogy of Their Descendants by Mrs. Sherman Williams.
  • The Dodson Family of Warren County, Tennessee, and Allied Families by Catherine Gaffin Lynn.

  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The SPARTAN 1849. Retrieved from
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 4th November 2011). Retrieved from
  8. ^
  9. ^ Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 4th 2021, retrieved from on Facebook