Show ContentsDodswell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Dodswell name come from when the Anglo-Saxon tribes ruled over Britain. The name Dodswell was originally derived from a family having lived in a region called Doda's well or spring. The surname Dodswell 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 Dodswell family

The surname Dodswell 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 Dodswell family

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

Dodswell Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Dodswell include Dodswell, Dodwell, Dodswall, Dodwall and others.

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

Ireland Migration of the Dodswell family to Ireland

Some of the Dodswell 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.


Australia Dodswell migration to Australia +

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

Dodswell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Michael Dodswell, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1839 [5]
  • Hannah Dodswell, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1839 [5]
  • Nicholas Dodswell a shoemaker, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1839 [5]
  • Robert Dodswell, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harpley" in 1849 [6]
  • Naomi Dodswell, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harpley" in 1849 [6]


  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)
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PRINCE REGENT 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839PrinceRegent.htm
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HARPLEY 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Harpley.htm


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