Dodswel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Dodswel has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family lived in a region called Doda's well or spring. The surname Dodswel 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 Dodswel family
The surname Dodswel 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 Dodswel family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dodswel 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 Dodswel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dodswel Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Dodswel have been found, including Dodswell, Dodwell, Dodswall, Dodwall and others.
Early Notables of the Dodswel 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 Dodswel family to Ireland
Some of the Dodswel family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Migration of the Dodswel family
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Dodswel, or a variant listed above: James Dodwell who settled in Philadelphia in 1861.