The surname of DAWS was an ancient baptismal name 'the son of David' from the nickname Daw. The name has been perennially popular in honour of the biblical king of the name, the greatest of early kings of Israel, and led to this being a given name throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. Its popularity increased in Britain firstly by virtue of its being the name of the patron saint of Wales (about which very little is known); he was probably a 6th century monk and bishop, and secondly because it was borne by two kings of Scotland (David I reigned 1124-53 and David II (1329-71). Following the crusades in Europe in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth, or in addition to it. This was recognized by those of noble birth, and particularly by those who went on the Crusades, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. Early records of the name mention Dauue (without surname) 1212, Lancashire.
Ralph Daw was documented in the County of Somerset in the year 1273. Edward Dawes of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Johannes Dawe of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379.
Married. Thomas Dawes and Bennet Jeffries at St. Antholin, London in 1788.
Habitation names were derived from names denoting towns, villages, farmsteads or other named places, which include rivers, houses with signs on them, regions, or whole counties. The original bearer of the name who stayed in his area might be known by the name of his farm, or the locality in the parish; someone who moved to another town might be known by the name of his village; while someone who moved to another county could aquire the name of that county or the region from which he originated.
An interesting member of the name was Sophia Dawes (1790-1840) the English adventuress born in St. Helens in the Isle of Wight. She was a fisherman's daughter, an inmate of a workhouse, an officer's mistress, and whilst married to his aide-de-camp, the Baron de Feucheres, was the mistress of the Duc de Bourbon.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
The name is also spelt Dawe and Dawes.
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