Log in  | New? Register

202,750 DAWSON members around the world

Family spelling variants includes Dauson

Stay informed about DAWSON Family online & offline events!

Keep me informed as to DAWSON Family online & offline events

My DAWSON family came from?

See our recent family gatherings

DAWSON Family History


This interesting surname is of English origins. It has more than fifteen entries in the Dictionary of National Biography, and no less than twenty-two coats of arms, and is a patronymic form of the medieval male given name Daw. This is a nickname form of David, adopted from the Hebrew male given name Dodavehu meaning "beloved of Jehovah". This name was borne by the greatest of the early Kings of Israel, and led to its popularity, first among the Jews, and later among the Christians. In Britain the popularity of the name was increased by the fame of St. David, the patron saint of Wales, and by the fact that it was borne by two kings of Scotland, David 1st 1124 - 1153, and David 11nd 1329 - 1371...


Dawson (Variants: Dauson)

An English relationship name ‘son of Dawe’, derived from the name of an ancestor 'the son of David’ which is also a Scottish relationship name.

More generally, a pet form of Rauf or Raw (i.e. Ralph), of which Daw(e) is a rhyming form. Both Ralph and David common as a personal name.

Also said to be a corruption of the Norman-French D'Ossonc, from the town of Ossone in Normandy.

Early bearers of the surname include: Thomas Daweson, 1326 in Wakefield Court Rolls (WR Yorks); Richard Dauewesone, 1332 in Subsidy Rolls (Warwicks); Ricardo Dawesone, 1379 in Poll Tax (Grimston, Leics); Nicholaus Dauson', 1379 in Poll Tax (Harewood, WR Yorks); Johannes Dauson, 1379 in Poll Tax (Lonsdale, Lancs); John Daweson, 1451 in PROB 11; Dorathy Dawson, 1542 in IGI (Lincoln, Lincs); Raffe Dauson, 1565 in IGI (Kirkham, Lancs); Mathew Dauson, 1574 in IGI (Dewsbury, WR Yorks).

George Dawson, an English convict, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on 22 April 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia.

In 1891, the surname was recorded in England and Wales with 30,336 occurrences and a fewer 2,252 in Scotland.

In 1881, the surname was frequent in North England, especially Lancashire and Yorkshire. Lincolnshire was also a top county of the surname with 1,641 occurrences.

In 1881, Coal Miner, Farmer and Agricultural Labourer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Dawson. The most common Dawson occupation in the UK was Coal Miner. A less common occupation was Labourer.

Bertrand Edward Dawson (1864-1945), English physician to the British Royal Family.

Glen Dawson (1912-2016), an American California rock climber, mountaineer, antiquarian bookseller, publisher and environmentalist.

Another noted, Charles Eric "Chuck" Dawson (1922 – 1993) was a Canadian-American ecologist, ichthyologist, and taxonomist, who held expertise in gobies, flatfishes, and sand stargazers, and was considered "the ultimate authority" on pipefishes in the family Syngnathidae.

1881, 1891 Census

1881 Census in Lincolnshire 

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


Who have we missed?

Tell us about any famous DAWSON (or surname variant) you think we should add here. We will get our genealogists to check them out and add them to the list. Thanks!


Join the conversation with the DAWSON tribe

  • Find your DAWSON ancestor
  • Tell us about your DAWSON Family
  • Tell us about your DAWSON ancestors
  • Ask a question about the DAWSON history
  • Leave a message for DAWSON family members
Glenn Louis Dawson

I am a Dawson from South Africa, Would like to know where my family originates from.

Andrew Dawson

Family origin Castle Dawson .

John M Dawson

John Dawson Of Texas, USA. Of Irish/German decent

Michael Dawson

I have been researching my name for some time now,I am Irish and generations before me are all Irish.The more I researched the more confusing it became. Example, the Daw in front of the name is purported to be a nickname,which is incorrect as the word Daw is an anglesisation of the Gaelic name Daithi which means David,and the Dawson in Gaelic translates to MacDaidhidh, Davidson. Which is one of the clans of Scotland and that is the explanation we are satisfied with.

Dawson Stebbins-Mardin

Hi am Dawson from Africa. Would lik to sai Hi.Bye :)


You are not register

Join Log in

Invite more DAWSON family members!

Write an email address and click 'Invite' to share this page with more members of the DAWSON tribe.

Log in or Register to invite others
Family Coat of Arms Generator

Why not see what your family crest could look like based on your own family characteristics?

Create Crest

Discover where the DAWSON Family members live around the world

Explore where tribe members live today!


Show off the DAWSON Family Crest…

Wear your crest with pride...plenty of products to choose from