Dodswall History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Dodswall is an old Anglo-Saxon name. It comes from when a family lived in a region called Doda's well or spring. The surname Dodswall 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 Dodswall family
The surname Dodswall 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.  The place name literally means "spring or stream of a man called Dogod," from the Old English personal name + "wella." 
The first record of the family was found here when William de Dowdeswelle was listed as a Knights Templar in 1185.  Years later, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed William de Doudeswell, Oxfordshire and Robert de Doudeswell, Gloucestershire. 
Early History of the Dodswall family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dodswall 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 Dodswall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dodswall Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Dodswall were recorded, including Dodswell, Dodwell, Dodswall, Dodwall and others.
Early Notables of the Dodswall 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...
Migration of the Dodswall family to Ireland
Some of the Dodswall family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Migration of the Dodswall family
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Dodswall family emigrate to North America: James Dodwell who settled in Philadelphia in 1861.