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Davis Family History
Family spelling variants include Davies, Davys, Daviss, Davis, Daves.
There are approximately 1,382,473 Davis family members around the world. In general you can double this figure to include those related to the Davis names to allow for those connected to the name through maiden name connections.
It is estimated that the largest group of Davis family members live USA with 1,200,000 (86.8%) members, England with 69,849 (5.1%), Australia with 41,221 (3%), Canada with 32,926 (2.4%), South Africa with 21,551 (1.6%), New Zealand with 5,848 (0.4%), Ireland with 4,213 (0.3%), Scotland with 3,603 (0.3%) and Wales with 3,262 (0.2%) members.
The English surname Davis (or Davies) stems from the first name David or from Davy, which was also the French popular form, much in use after the Norman Conquest. Davis means ‘son of Davy’ or, more formally, ‘son of David’.
The Welsh Davis surname is a patronymic, meaning son of David, derived from the Hebrew name "David," meaning "beloved,".
Early bearers of the surname include: John Dauisse, 1327 in Subsidy Rolls (Cambs); Johanna Davys, 1377 in Poll Tax (Colchester, Essex); Robertus Davyes, 1381 in Poll Tax (Kinlet, Shrops); Howel ap David, 1381 in Poll Tax (Westbury with parcels, Shrops); Richard Davys, 1402 in York Freemen's Register ; Katherin Davies, 1539 in IGI (Worcester, Worcs); Anstance Davis, 1543 in IGI (Sandwich, Kent); Moses Davis, 1793 in Great and Hambro Synagogue Births (Whitechapel, Middlesex).
John Davis, an English convict from Kent, was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" ship on 22 April 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia.
In 1891, there were 67,769 occurrences of the surname in England and Wales and a further 836 in Scotland.
In 1881, the surname was widespread throughout South England and South Wales. In the southern county of Kent, it was reported as a top county for the surname with 2,626 occurrences. Worcestershire was also a top county with 2,722 occurrences.
In 1881, Coal Miner, Labourer and Agricultural Labourer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Davis in the UK. The most common occupation was a Coal Miner and a less common occupation was Farmer.
1881, 1891 Census
1881 Census in Kent
1881 Cencus in Worcestershire
Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003
Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890
The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016
1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain
1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain
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