Dodswal History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Of all the Anglo-Saxon names to come from Britain, Dodswal is one of the most ancient. The name is a result of the original family having lived in a region called Doda's well or spring. The surname Dodswal 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 Dodswal family

The surname Dodswal 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 Dodswal family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dodswal 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 Dodswal History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dodswal Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Dodswal has been spelled many different ways, including Dodswell, Dodwell, Dodswall, Dodwall and others.

Early Notables of the Dodswal 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 Dodswal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Dodswal family to Ireland

Some of the Dodswal 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 Dodswal family

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Dodswals to arrive in North America: 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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