Dodwell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Dodwell family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living in a region called Doda's well or spring. The surname Dodwell 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 Dodwell family

The surname Dodwell 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 Dodwell family

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

Dodwell Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Dodwell include Dodswell, Dodwell, Dodswall, Dodwall and others.

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

Ireland Migration of the Dodwell family to Ireland

Some of the Dodwell 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.


United States Dodwell migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Dodwell or a variant listed above:

Dodwell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Dodwell, who arrived in Maryland in 1668 [5]
Dodwell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Dodwell who settled in Philadelphia in 1861

Contemporary Notables of the name Dodwell (post 1700) +

  • William Dodwell (1709-1785), English divine, Archdeacon of Berks and theological writer, born at Shottesbrooke, Berkshire, on 17 June 1709, the second son and fifth child of Henry Dodwell the Elder [6]
  • Samuel William "Sam" Dodwell (1909-1990), English painter
  • Christina Dodwell (b. 1951), English explorer and travel writer, Chairman of the Dodwell Trust and was awarded the Mungo Park Medal in 1989
  • Charles Reginald Dodwell (1922-1994), English art historian from Cheltenham who specialized in Anglo-Saxon art
  • Edward Dodwell (1767-1832), Irish painter, traveller and a writer on archaeology, descendant of Henry Dodwell (1641-1711) [6]
  • Grant Radnor Dodwell (b. 1952), Australian producer, actor, writer and director, best known for his roles in A Country Practice and Home and Away
  • Celeste Dodwell (b. 1990), Australian actress

RMS Lusitania


  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. ^ 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. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020
  7. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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